There are samples taken from a red-tailed hawk in Jemez Springs in 2006, a short-tailed weasel near Hummingbird Creek in Canada in 2003 and a black bear in Glorieta in 1996.
Those are just some of what can be found by clicking through a vast searchable online database of frozen samples that are part of the Museum of Southwestern Biology’s Division of Genomic Resources on the University of New Mexico campus. Although many students and passersby might not realize it, UNM’s campus houses one of the world’s largest collections of animal tissues and blood samples stored in cryogenic tanks, and the trove is used in scientific research across the world, according to museum officials.
Earlier this fall, the museum added two new cryogenic tanks, where samples are
stored at minus 190 degrees Celsius (minus 310 degrees Fahrenheit), giving the museum five tanks. The supercold vaults can hold nearly 500,000 tissue and blood samples, according to the museum’s website. Specimens from mammals, birds, reptiles, fish and parasites are stored in the icy chambers.