Academy butterflies among state’s most endangered artifacts

Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. Credit: wiki commons
The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University received the specimens in 1864. Credit: Wiki Commons

Two 18th-century butterfly specimens featured at the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University were together named as one of the state’s top 10 endangered artifacts.

The academy’s artifacts will be featured in a six-week online campaign to save the state’s endangered artifacts. The campaign launched today and continues through Nov. 1.

The ancient butterflies represents the oldest insect specimens known to exist in the Americas.

Historical letters indicate an American diplomat shipped the specimens from Malta to the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia in 1841, nearly a century after they were collected.

They were given to the academy in 1864.

The butterfly fragments themselves cannot be restored, but conservators will construct a storage container that will prevent further deterioration.

Residents can vote in support of their favorite artifact, and make a donation toward its preservation. Check out the full list at PATop10Artifacts.org.

 


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