Nature Blog Network

Friday, August 29, 2008

Ocean Hall Inverts

The new Ocean Hall will be opening to the public on September 27th (oh to be there on opening day!!). Among the displays will be hundreds of preserved specimens covering a wide range of creatures.

Smithsonian Magazine's September issue provides their pick of the top 8 species in a "Most Likely to..." list. The pycnogonid is featured in the list with a picture and as "The most likely to star in a horror movie".

But what about the rest of the list ? Well gotta give props to writer Anika Gupta, 6 of the 8 species listed are inverts! Ok it's not 95% but it's much better than most lists. (and the two vertebrates are actually pretty cool fish anyways)

The full list includes such entries as "Most Likely to Stick it to the Man" and "Most Down and Dirty" and is available in print and online in the Arts & Culture section.

(As a side note the Ocean Hall got some awesome High Definition Deep Seamount footage from the NURC lab here at UCONN. Including lot's of inverts. Hopefully it all made it to the final reels being shown in the hall.)


  1. I would have put the Giant Japanese Spider crab that they have as the "most likely to star in a horror movie." Who wouldn't be afraid of a crab with 1.5m long chelipeds?

  2. I would have to agree that is an invert that deserves it's own movie, but I don't think there are any in the hall.

  3. hmmm, maybe their plans changed. I thought they were getting one prepared for display. Having worked in the crustacean collections I can safely say that I wouldn't want to turn a corner and find it.

  4. You are probably right that they have one it would be on my short list for the hall, how it failed to make the list for Smithsonian Magazine...?

  5. It is strange that they left it out if they are putting it on display. I have pictures of it being prepped, and was actually able to do some DNA work on it. I will be very sad if it's not there when I finally get up there again.

  6. I love pycnogonids... I have about 30 of the little critters in a jar of ethanol that I inherited from the University of Manchester Zoology Group when they closed down a few years ago. I haven't the foggiest what species they are and there are no data labels... very cool nonetheless.

  7. Sam, if you send me some pics, I'll give it a whirl. I'm curious too, there are several pycnogonids at vents and the deep sea in general.

  8. Oooh, pickled pycnogonids! Not much cooler than that!

    I'll have to see if I can get permission to send you a snap of the sea mount pycnogonid from Deep ASS. It got axed from the PSA spot unfortunately.


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