Insect taxonomists, classifiers of bugs to the layperson, the world over face a common problem. That is, access to the holotype, the single most important specimen from which a species is named and described. The answer to this conundrum however, may lie in the humble NFT.
The holotype of any given insect generally resides in the dusty cabinets of museums worldwide. This seriously hampers the classification of any new creatures. Often, taxonomists in the field require access to this arch-bug when dealing with potentially new species. When in reality, they are housed thousands of miles away and scattered throughout the globe.
Now imagine digital 3D renderings of all these holotypes in a single secure repository, where individuals studying the insect world can access any sample in hi-res detail from anywhere in the world. The team behind the idea posit that with nature’s in-built rarity, some of these samples will become collectors’ items themselves. Thereby funding the preservation and recording of further species.
Taxonomist, Samuel Bolton envisages a future where every insect holotype is scanned using high-powered microscopes and rendered in three dimensions. These VERO (virtual equivalent of a real object), will then form the backbone of insect research data, providing a hugely flexible and valuable ecosystem for these 3D insects.
In a world where insects are dying out faster than we can record them, the NFT VERO would provide a useful tool in the fight to preserve our tiny planetary co-dwellers.
Read the full paper >> Here
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