Fire destroys rare snake collection
Tuesday 18 May 2010
A fire in Brazil has destroyed what may have been the world's largest scientific collection of dead snakes, spiders and scorpions, which served as the main source for research on many species.
Members of the Instituto Butantan said the nearly 100-year-old collection lost in the fire included almost 80,000 snakes and several thousand specimens of spiders and scorpions.
The specimens were used to study evolution and how to avert extinctions, said institute director Otavio Mercadante. "The entire collection was lost, the biggest collection of snakes in the world," curator Francisco Franco said. "It's a loss to humanity."
The institute's live animals were kept in a separate building. The fire did not harm any humans or live animals.
Many of the animals are used in the production of vaccines and biopharmaceuticals, some derived from venom.
- 1 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Giorgio Armani criticises the way some gay men dress saying 'a man has to be a man'
Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
'Jihadi John': Isis executioner Mohammed Emwazi wanted to wage jihad in Somalia until his friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
Parma, Missouri: 80 per cent of town's police quit after first black mayor is elected
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity has arisen ...
£16000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£18000 - £23000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of Ford's leading Parts Who...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to learn ...