The tortoise feather collection is one of the few things you can actually be proud of.
From the tiny beads and beads of tiny little birds, to the tiny crystals and tiny beads of microscopic turtles, to tiny beads from tiny tiny turtles, you can really get a sense of what the tortoises were doing back in the day.
But just like the tiny shells of these birds, there’s something special about the tiny birds themselves, as well.
The tortoise’s feathers have a special texture, like glass.
“You can feel the glass inside the shell, which is really cool,” said Michael Lichtman, the curator of turtle biology at the Florida Museum of Natural History.
“The tortois were just like that, they just had this beautiful, rich texture to their feathers.”
It was Lichtmann’s research that made it possible for the Museum to preserve these beautiful specimens.
“I just got my PhD in evolutionary biology, and it’s been about 10 years since I started to think about what I would like to do with my life,” Lichtmans said.
Lichtman and his team had already identified several species of tortoise, but they wanted to know what they were made of.
“We were looking at the torties of South America and Europe, and we realized, we don’t really have a fossil record of what they looked like,” he said.
Lichtmann was working on this project while working at the Smithsonian’s Natural History Museum, and he had been thinking about this for a while.
“We had to figure out how to get the feathers to be a little bit more interesting,” he explained.
Lichmann and his colleagues used a technique called electron microscopy, a technology that allows them to study atoms, molecules, and other things with a very high resolution.
The tortises were found in the museum’s collections by a local couple who had come to visit, and Lichterman and his co-authors used the technique to study the crystals.
“So we had to put a lot of effort into figuring out how this stuff came together, how this thing worked, how it formed, how they got it to form, and how they stored it,” he continued.
But the biggest challenge was figuring out exactly how these tiny beads got there.
The crystals, which were very tiny, were found under rocks that had been transported thousands of years in an ocean, and they weren’t well preserved, LichtMan said.
Lichtmans team was able to find a couple of examples of them, but he said that when they got them back to the lab, they were missing some of the more significant pieces.
The museum conserved the beads and used them as fossils for several years, but when they came back, they weren´t quite what they needed.
“When we found them, they didn’t have all the little pieces of crystals, they had very, very small pieces,” Lichmans said, “so we had no idea how to look at them and figure out what the bones are like.”
In a new paper published in the journal PLOS ONE, Lichmann explains that the beads, which are about the size of a fingernail, were actually pieces of turtle bones.
They had been compressed by the tortuises internal organs.
This was a major discovery for the team.
“You couldn’t even see the turtles inside them, the only way you could see them was with a microscope,” Lischman said.
“They were really, really tiny.
So we were pretty amazed.”
When the museum conservators realized that they were going to need to do something about it, they decided to keep them for a bit longer.
The team had the bones preserved in an urn.
“But when they were in that, we realized that the shells they were looking for were actually shells,” Licheman said, referring to the shells of the tortes.
But they had a big problem.
“And we were actually pretty happy about that, because we had these tortooses with very small bones, but we had tiny turtles with very big bones,” he added.
The turtles were preserved in this urn, and the team was hoping that if they could find the turtles and make them more interesting to look into, they could keep them as fossilized specimens for decades.
The turtles are still preserved in the urns.
So the team decided to give them a new home.
“As we were making the bones, they’d already been sitting in the glass jar and had been sitting there for the past three or four years,” Litzman said of the turtles.
“So we just had to get them back and let them live a little longer.”
It took about a year for the turtles to grow and change their look, and then the team finally had them in the perfect place to display their specimens.They’re