Nature Blog Network
Showing posts with label Bivalvia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bivalvia. Show all posts

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Friday Movie - Mussel Cam!

For all those who just can't get enough of their bivalves, especially of the Mytilidae, Flex Mussels has the perfect recipe for you, well the have lots of great recipes in their New York Restaurant, but online for your visual stimulation, they offer – MusselCam live from their Prince Edward Island location!

Gina, you were right about this one – part of why Ceph's are my favorite Molluscs.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Work with an Invert! - Bivalve Postdoc

*Bivalve anatomy & systematics postdoc*

A postdoctoral position is available for a full-time postdoctoral researcher in the Bivalve Tree-of-Life project. For project information, please see

Initial appointment for this Field Museum (Chicago)-based term position is made for 12 months, with opportunity for performance-based renewal for up to three additional years. Starting salary is $40,000.

Primary focus of the position will be to investigate gill and labial palp morphology across the Bivalvia, using various techniques including anatomical dissections, histology, electron microscopy, 3-D computer-assisted reconstructions, as well as field observations on living animals. In addition, the postdoc will participate in the collections management aspects of the BivAToL project, and will be part of larger group efforts such as field collecting and phylogenetic analyses. Opportunity will exist for "first-authored" project development as well as for exposure to additional (e.g., molecular) techniques.

The candidate should have the following proven attributes:
● PhD in relevant area
● Experience in at least some of the mentioned techniques and approaches
● Marine invertebrate background; with molluscan expertise preferred
● Strong interest in comparative and functional morphology
● Capacity to work in a team as well as independently
● Availability in early 2009

Interested candidates should send a CV, statement of research interests, and contact information for three references via email (pdf) to Rüdiger Bieler (rbieler at fieldmuseum dot org).

Evaluation of applications will begin on November 1 and continue until a suitable candidate is found. Earliest starting date will be in January 2009.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Vote Oysters Garter

Miriam at the Oysters Garter needs a little invert help. Her beautiful short play is a finalist in a competition, but the competition is tough and one of the competitors is using an eight year old to play the cute card. At stake are four dozen farmed oysters which Miriam and Eric plan to share with a handful of poor graduate students (is there any other kind?).

So check out the options, then do the right spineless thing and vote for Oysters Garter. Remember, a vote for Miriam means a high quality meal for half dozen grad students and $80 towards the Nature Conservancy’s Olympia Oyster restoration project. Just think of the incredible progress they will be able to make on their theses with such a high quality food in their bellies!

Of course I think that the only way to have four dozen oysters is raw with Tabasco or lemon juice. Or fish sauce, lime and chili peppers!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Bivalve vs. Fish

This one is for the folks who thought bivalves are "boring benthic creatures" that just sit around like a lump on or in the substrate...

This is the Snuffbox Mussel (Epioblasma triquetra), a member of the Family Unionidae, the freshwater pearly mussels. Unionidae larvae (glochidia) are ectoparasites on the gills of fish. Getting the glochidia on the fish gills can be tricky and a variety of methods have evolved within the Unionidae. One general method is to get the fish close, real close, then "spit" your larvae into their face so they breath them in and across the gills. (one of my son's favorite Parasite Unleashed cards) The Snuffbox (and several other species) takes this to an extreme by actually clamping onto the fishes head, then pumping water and glochidia into the now gasping fishes throat. Even within this general method there is huge variation, with adaptations of shell shape, mantle and specialized glochidia brood pouch (marsupial gill). The following video is from M.C. Barnhart showing the capture of a logperch (Percina caprodes) and then the glochidia being pumping into its gills.


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Beware the Geoduck

Geoducks are large, often very old, muscular clams. Occasionally they have been known to deface belligerent clam diggers.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Crustacean Crash

Critical Critter
Discovery News is carrying a news piece about the decline of a key great lakes species: Diporeia. This tiny crustacean, which feed primarily on planktonic algae, is eaten by many species of fish, importantly alewives (a type of herring) which are eaten by larger fish. The population crash coincides in general with the introduction of the Zebra mussel (Dreissena polymorpha) to the great lakes. Another clue that the zebra mussels are responsible (at least in part) is that the Diporeia are disappearing from all the lakes except Lake Superior which has a much lower population of zebra mussels - probably due to the lake's low calcium levels which the mussel needs to build its shell. The zebra mussels
... settle above the small crustacean's sediment homes and filter out algal plankton, which Diporeia must feed upon. They then leave behind copious amounts of waste -- literally defecating on the hapless crustaceans -- and transmit disease.

Vanishing Crustacean

Declining Diporeia
population density in
Lake Michigan

A shopping cart
covered by zebra mussel

Get the complete story at Discovery News...