The centuries-long preference for collecting male specimens over female at five institutions worldwide could skew research

The Natural History Museum in London boasts that it holds “the world’s most important natural history collection”. But, while excited families queue this half-term to explore its exhibits on volcanoes, dinosaurs and creepy-crawlies, one of its scientists has revealed a fatal flaw among the 29m animal specimens it holds for research purposes.

A study led by NHM researcher Dr Natalie Cooper has uncovered discrepancies in gender representation, with significantly more male specimens than female.

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