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U-M slithers toward history with acquisition of jarred snakes

ANN ARBOR (AP) — Greg Schneider scans rows upon rows of liquid-filled glass jars containing coiled snake specimens, just a portion of the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology’s reptile and amphibian collection believed to be the largest held by any research institution in the U.S. thanks to a recent donation.

The museum this fall acquired tens of thousands of reptile and amphibian specimens from Oregon State University, many of which are snakes.

The development places the university in a unique position, according to Schneider, the research museum collections manager for the museum’s division of reptiles and amphibians.

“I’m fairly confident we’ll have the largest snake collection in the world,” he said. The extensive new additions also will allow scientists to conduct new snake and amphibian research, perhaps looking at trait evolution in mothers and their offspring.

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