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Destructive Loan Policy

Oklahoma State University Collection of Vertebrates respects that significant research results may sometimes be obtained only through destruction or consumption of parts of specimens.  Therefore, we work to balance the loss of collection materials to research activities that require such destruction or consumption of parts of specimens with the potential for meaningful results from those research activities.


Researchers may request samples of skin, hair, feathers, toe pads, bone, stomach contents, or internal organs or tissues from specimens.  Because these requests result in partial destruction of irreplaceable specimens, such requests will be weighed carefully against our paramount responsibility to preserve collection materials for present and future research and education. Requests for destructive loans:


  • Should follow the same general guidelines as for Frozen Tissue loans.
  • Must be based on compelling reasons for use of voucher specimens rather than materials sampled directly from the field (e.g., historical comparisons, taxa of interest can no longer be sampled from the field).
  • Should provide evidence that researchers have experience with proposed analytical procedures and that the proposed work is likely to generate valid data.
  • Must result in only minimal damage to specimens.
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