What the Future Will Hold

How a mysterious bird collection could unlock tomorrow's scientific secrets

 this black-crowned night heron is part of a large collection of stuffed birds that were discovered at a school in laramie, wyoming in 2016. (photo by Willow Belden)

this black-crowned night heron is part of a large collection of stuffed birds that were discovered at a school in laramie, wyoming in 2016. (photo by Willow Belden)

When evolutionary biologist Brian Barber first heard that some stuffed birds had been found at a Wyoming high school, he didn't think too much of it. But as luck would have it, the mysterious collection would turn out to be a goldmine. 

On this episode, we tell the story of a treasure trove of forgotten specimens that could help with scientific breakthroughs decades or centuries down the road.

The story takes us from the prairies of Wyoming in the 1960s to a fancy research facility today, and shows the surprising things that can come about from a project that started on someone’s kitchen table.