Arrival Of Reptiles Could Advance Research In North Texas

ARLINGTON (CBS11) – It’s moving day at BRIT – The Botanical Research Institute of Texas.

Inside each storage cabinet are folders filled with knowledge, dried and pressed between the pages. In total – nearly half-a-million plant specimens from the University of Louisiana Monroe.

“They decided they could no longer support the maintenance and care of the collection,” explained Dr. Peter Fritsch, Vice President of Research at BRIT. “The collection is really priceless in that it represents a huge data source for scientists, researchers, and conservation people.”

BRIT wasn’t the only North Texas institution chosen to save the specimens.

Carl Franklin is UT Arlington’s reptile and amphibian collections manager.

He drove to Louisiana to pick up thousands of jars of carefully preserved snakes, lizards and frogs from more than 90 countries.

jarsofsnakes Arrival Of Reptiles Could Advance Research In North Texas

Jars of snakes at UT Arlington (Yona Gavino – CBS11)

The collection at UT Arlington- now more than 200,000 specimens strong – is mainly used by graduate students, but any student can use them for research or projects.

“Specimens collected decades or a century ago are almost priceless because they were taken at a time when the abundance of these species was higher,” explained Franklin.

Franklin said some of the creatures have now gone extinct. But thanks to a second chance, learning lives on, for years to come.

BRIT’s plant specimens collection is open to the public.

UTA’s isn’t. It’s mainly used for research purposes.

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