Witmer's lab and office complex in
Grosvenor Hall occupies about 875 square feet, including the main lab, Witmer's
office, and a grad student office. Specimen storage cabinets are located
in an adjoining lobby. Witmer's lab connects internally with Audrone
Biknevicius' lab, which greatly fosters the sharing of ideas (and,
lamentably for our neighbors, smells).
The lab is well outfitted with updated
computers (multiple desktop and laptop PCs), dissecting microscopes (two Nikon
scopes), compound light microscopes (Zeiss, American Optical), small bench pieces (balances,
stirrers, heating plates, ultrasonicators, etc.), two four-panel radiograph view
boxes, a fume hood, three freezers, specimen refrigerator, x-ray, air compressor, and a wide assortment of dissecting
instruments. We even have a very active dermestid beetle colony for the
fine preparation of skeletal specimens.
The lab has extensive materials for the study of the amniote head
anatomy and evolution.
• Broad and rapidly growing collections of dried skull material of
virtually all amniotes, with an emphasis on birds (ostrich, duck, goose,
chicken, and other legally obtained species), crocodilians (alligator,
caiman, salt water and New Guinea crocodile), squamates (monitors and
iguanas), turtles, and large mammals (seals, bear, canids, bovids,
moose, deer, horse, rhino, pigs & warthogs, camel, hippo,
etc.). Growth series are available for chicken, duck, goose,
alligator, and the crocodiles.
• Complete and replicated cleared-and-stained growth series (up to
hatching) of chicken, duck, albatross, and alligator.
• The Julian J. Baumel Avian Spirit Collection: donated by Dr. Baumel,
it is a large collection of preserved bird specimens, some of which are
injected for vascular study.
• Fluid specimens of alligator, salt water crocodile, and New Guinea
crocodile, various ages.
• Extensive collection of dinosaur skull casts, assembled over many
years and representing most of the major clades of dinosaurs (see below
• CT scan data of about 15 dinosaur skulls (e.g., Diplodocus,
Stegosaurus, Pinacosaurus, Deinonychus, Edmontosaurus) and about 10
extant amniote heads (e.g., tapir, horse, manatee, moose, hooded seal,
• 10,000 digital images of fossil archosaur skull material.
Witmer has put all his slides and negatives of fossil archosaur
specimens studied around the world on PhotoCD.
• 50-60 hours of video of fossil archosaur skull material. Hi-8