Vertebrate Emeritus Hutterer receives special honour 

Emeritus Dr Rainer Hutterer in the mammal collection at the Museum Koenig Bonn. © LIB, K. Meusemann


For 37 years, he served as the curator of the Vertebrates department at the Museum Koenig Bonn. Dr Rainer Hutterer enriched the research landscape with over 100 scientific articles and is now being honoured in a special way by a colleague: a newly described species of shrew is named Cryptotis huttereri.

Dr Neal Woodman from the National Museum of Natural History in Washington D.C. has described two new species of shrews belonging to the Cryptotis genus from the Andean region in southwestern Colombia. One of these species is now named Cryptotis huttereri – in honour of the German mammalogist Dr Rainer Hutterer, Theriology section at the Museum Koenig Bonn. Rainer Hutterer, currently an Emeritus at the Museum Koenig Bonn, remains active and is delighted by this honour: “Of course, I find it cool, and at the same time I was surprised because I only found out through the publication.”

In the “Etymology,” which explains the origin of the name in the English-language species description in the journal “Annals of Carnegie Museum”: “The specific name huttereri recognizes Dr Rainer Hutterer, Curator Emeritus, Museum Alexander Koenig, Bonn, and his extensive contributions to scientific understanding of diversity, ecology, morphology, and evolution of soricids [=shrews] and other mammals worldwide, as well as to archaeozoology and the history of science. Although primarily focused on the faunas of Eurasia and Africa, he has also published on Cryptotis (Hutterer 1980, 1986), and he contributed substantially to the description of a small-eared shrew from Peru.”

So far, Rainer Hutterer has described about 200 new species and is particularly knowledgeable about shrew species: “Describing new species of shrews is quite challenging, because it requires extensive, careful, and detailed work, as species often differ only in very small details. Worldwide, there are only about 600 described species, with only nine in Germany. Unfortunately, there are very few researchers in Germany who are engaged in the taxonomy of shrews,” says the Emeritus.


Images of the skull of the shrew species Cryptotis huttereri. © Neal Woodman, edited by C. Montermann (LIB)


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