With large scale coordination of people, machines, the United Parcel Service and the Smithsonian Institute, the Georgia Museum of Naural History received a rather significant expansion to what was already one of the largest university-based collections in the country:
As officials with United Parcel Service, which coordinated the move, looked on, they unloaded literally tons of bones and animal skins.
Freeman and other museum workers talked most about the marine mammals in the truck — dozens of whale and porpoise skeletons, including skulls larger than a tall man and weighing hundreds of pounds.
But there was a lot more than that.
“There’s a giraffe in there somewhere,” said zooarchaeologist Betsy Reitz, who helps archaeologists find out what long-ago people ate by identifying bones the researchers dig up from archaeological sites.
But there was also a hippopotamus, seals, a black rhinoceros, an elephant, flying foxes from Vietnam, and a collection of bird specimens that once belonged to a legendary American ornithologist, A.C. Bent, author of the 21-volume series, “Life Histories of North American Birds.”
Image: A group watches as a whale skull is moved into a University storage warehouse on Friday, May 24, 2013, in Athens, Ga. (Richard Hamm/Staff) OnlineAthens / Athens Banner-Herald