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Uploaded:2017-11-11
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SKIP TO BEGINNING: https://youtu.be/CXfir7UaPwU?t=59m48s Welcome to The Brain Scoop's first dissection livestream! This event took place in The Grainger Science Hub at The Field Museum on Friday, November 10th. ↓↓↓ Click below for for the FAQs. ↓↓↓

This is a North American Beaver (Castor canadensis). It's the largest rodent in North America, and second-largest rodent in the world. I have help from Lauren Smith, who is a Collections Assistant from Mammals.

FAQs:
1. Where is this specimen from?
-- This specimen has no data associated with it, but likely came from a government agency (like a state Department of Natural Resources, or Fish & Wildlife department), or a wildlife rehabilitation center. Even without knowing exactly where it came from, it is still useful for educational and scientific purposes.

2. Did you kill it?
-- Nope. This animal was either found dead in the wild, euthanized at a wildlife rehab center, or euthanized by a wildlife pest management agency. Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources has a lot of useful information about beaver populations and their management for landowners: http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/waterways/factsheets/beaverdamage.pdf

But, there are many instances where collecting animals for research is important, and to be supported. We made a whole video about it for you: "Where'd you get all those dead animals?" http://bit.ly/2zDVLo8

3. What are you doing with it?
-- We will skin the specimen, remove the major muscles and organs, take a tissue sample for DNA research, run the skeleton through our flesh-eating dermestid beetle colony, and finally place the specimen in an educational collection.

4. Why aren't you wearing gloves?
-- This is absolutely up to personal preference, but in my experience wearing gloves negatively impacts my perception of touch to the point I can't feel what I'm doing. Gloves are very slippery inside of a dead animal, and wearing them makes me constantly nervous I'll slip and cut myself.

5. What's that brown, dusty-lookin' stuff?
-- It's sawdust, and is helpful for soaking up blood and other fluids, and creating a textured surface on our hands so we can better grip the specimen during preparation.

6. Aren't you worried about diseases/bacteria?
-- With some mammals, absolutely. Primates, many carnivores, and animals that are noticeably ill require special precautions during the preparation process. This specimen spent a considerable amount of time (months to years) in an industrial deep freezer, which could kill many of its disease-carrying endo- and ectoparasites. At this time we are not concerned about contracting any zoonotic diseases from the animal. If Lauren or I had open wounds on our hands or ended up cutting ourselves during specimen prep, we do have access to necessary medical services.

7. Will I be able to watch this later?
-- Yes! The video will be archived on our channel for future viewing.
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