Should we add ex-situ photos in the original location of the subject?

Doing scientific research, sometimes we collect animals and plants and take them to laboratories where they will be studied. Sometimes, animals, plants and especially fossils, are photographed only ex-situ, far away from the original location, in a studio-like condition.
Should these photos be added in INaturalist in the location where the subject was collected from?

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Researcher here, as well. I do that all the time. It’s super reasonable. I am fond, though, of taking at least one photo in-situ of whatever it is, both for the geo-tag, but also for in-context imagery.

-Glen

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Here’s a recent example of me doing something like this. :)

-Glen

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/116018098

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Not a researcher here, but I agree exactly with @grmorrison . Here’s me doing the same https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/112719472. The in situ photos establish the location and date, other photos prove the ID. I think it’s really good to get live photos of things… A lot of obscure taxa that need microscopic ID are not shown in their living fullness in any ID guides or keys, and it’s important to have this stuff. There are species of fly I only know about from dichotomous keys for which basically all I can tell you is the colour of the hairs on the scutellum and a few other obscure details - for all I know it could be luminous green or bright pink; as big as a pinhead or the size of your face! And preserved things never look quite the same.

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Fossils aren’t really what iNat’s for, but in general ex-situ photos are fine as long as the date and location are of where and when you collected it. Also best to make clear in the observation’s descripiton.

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I do it all the time.

I kinda disagree. INaturalist is indeed mostly an existing-species database, but Pleistocene fossils are hard to identify as fossils. Most of them are just bone actually, with no mineralization.
In addition, there are a lot of extinct taxa on the database as well

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I think iNat staff are the ones who probably know the best what site is for, all fossils should be marked as no recent evidence of organism, as casual observations they’re ok, but there’re much better places for them.

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It was not my intention to disagree on how the platform should be used in any way. My point is just that, as a Pleistocene fossil researcher, I know how hard it can be to identify some fossils as fossils. Most animals I work with are no different than a bone from an animal that died recently and only biochemistry analysis can tell how old it really is.

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Welcome to the forum!
In Entomology at least, a label stating where, when, and by whom is sufficient. However, these are usually mobile organisms, so the exact location is less important. I do not know how plants are dealt with. Many insect species can only be identified to species through dissection or microscopic observation. The image, and notes should alert anyone that the identification is not in situ. I know some folks who collect and pin moths, and may need to dissection. The basic data are there, and it is understood that it is identified in the location in which it was collected.
As for fossils (which I love!) see the notations for this - https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/70247292
However, as many folks here know, I’m not a big stickler for precise definitions in a lot of things. Except species identification. I believe that the location, time and date should be sufficient. And an annotation of not alive.

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Meanwhile, here’s a farmer’s market example. I bet it’s common to find extra lifeforms in fresh market purchases.
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/49785784

In that case I was able to look up the farm’s county location on the web and use that. But if someone has no idea where the vendor was located, is it better to use the current location, the location of the farm market, or maybe put “location inaccurate”?

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For plants I often mark observations as “location inaccurate” when they clearly just show the observer’s home location for multiple specimen photographed at home. Requests for clarification or correction rarely get an answer, unfortunately.

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I’ve also noticed that comments for further information or clarification also do not get answered. Ahh well, at least we try.

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Even more so for seashells. As the sand churns up, you might find a fairly recent shell, a subfossil, or a fossil, all of the same species, and you can’t necessarily tell which is which.

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It is logical to register the collection site as the observation site. As mentioned by others, in situ photos offer context (general habitat, plants, insects, …), and they show the specimen in live colors and natural posture. However many specimens, such as small insects, cannot be identified from in situ photos. I often collect specimens for “studio sessions” on a light panel, at home or at a camp site. I can then use lens with higher magnification and show more details, in several postures. Identification is much easier, precise and definitive with the photos:Andrena frigida, mating and nest opening, in situ, Andrena frigida, white backgound photos. After the photo session, which may include temporary anaesthesia, I generally release the insects close to their original location.

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I do this, too. Here’s one example:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/101439573

-Nancy

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