The rats used for the workshop were raised and euthanized to be used as reptile food.
The workshop is set up with six tables of four, toolkits laid out in front of each seat. Fluorescent lights beat down from the ceiling. It’s just like a high school classroom on lab day.
At Harvard Museum of Natural History's Rat Embalming Workshop, participants embalm a rat, which they then take home with them.
Mickey Alice Kwapis, the taxidermist who led the rat embalming workshop, says her work is a labor of love. “You wouldn't spend your days elbows-deep in a dead animal if you didn't really love the work that you were doing and really want to honor those specimens,” she says.
To embalm the rat, workshop participants stabbing their specimen all over its body, pumping it full of fluid, which eventually mixes with that's rat's blood and guts and leaches out.
Every year, the residents of East Cambridge gather at the intersection of Porter and Warren streets to celebrate the Feast of Saint Cosmas and Damian, a festival brought by Italian immigrants from the town of Gaeta in 1926. The 98th annual celebration took place the weekend of September 8-10, and we sent a team of photographers to cover it.
Ghungroo performers smile and point at the audience.
The octopus lies suspended above a grand staircase in the spacious, modern, glassy foyer of Harvard’s Northwest Building, home to labs, classrooms, and offices for Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
Preservation of the octopus’ historic and artistic value, rather than precise scientific accuracy, guided the team’s effort.
“Having it at Northwest kind of gives it a second life,” Laborde says.
Founded in 1859, Harvard’s Ornithology Collection has become the fifth-largest ornithological collection on Earth, boasting around 400,000 specimens and 8,300 species — over 85 percent of all known bird species.
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