Well Preserved

Photos by Jennifer Olson

A complete porpoise skeleton. A cabinet full of nearly identical stuffed grey squirrels. An entire California condor, wings spanning the length of a small car. These are just a few of the things you’ll find in the Roest Vertebrate Biology Collection, a classroom-lab complex in Fisher Science Hall where the preserved bodies of thousands of birds and mammals become teaching tools for Cal Poly students and the general public. Biology Professor John Perrine curates the collection with help from student curator and biology senior My-Lan Le, maintaining the specimens, keeping and updating records, and preparing newly donated additions to the collection. Perrine introduced us to the collection and explained how it’s used to enhance the Learn by Doing experience.

Check out more images from the collection below.