Virtual museum of Canada
Collections from Storage: A Visit to our Hidden Treasures

This snake was found, alive, in a Sherbrooke, Quebec grocery store. Imagine the owner's surprise when he saw this 106-cm long animal! It was in a case of bananas and had been transported without the knowledge of the owners or carriers. It was discovered in 1928 at the corner of King and Queen Streets, in the Queen City of the Eastern Townships as Sherbrooke was called. At that time, exotic animals were occasionally found in deliveries of fruit from tropical countries. Of course, storage, preservation and transportation methods then were not what they are today. This snake was first plunged in a formaldehyde solution, also known as formol, a step necessary to fix the tissue, then it was placed in a solution of ethanol. Research has shown that if a specimen is left for too long in formol there may be decalcification of the preserved specimen.

Snake kept in fluid preservative in a old jar.

Credits : Musée de la nature et des sciences, Sherbrooke

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