Art News

Smithsonian Holdings to Aid Researchers in Gulf of Mexico

SUITLAND, MD (AP).- Scientists studying the massive BP oil spill are turning to a vast collection of preserved animals at the Smithsonian to see what kind of changes the oil spill may wreak among life forms in the Gulf of Mexico. The museum and research complex in Washington holds the most complete set of invertebrate species from the Gulf, offering scientists studying the spill’s effects a look at life before the gusher began. A researcher pulling a creature from the Gulf can use the Smithsonian’s collection to compare its size, body chemistry and other characteristics to a specimen collected before the catastrophe. Smithsonian scientists began putting their collection to use just days after the oil spill, creating a digital map showing