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  • Natural History Museum Bingo: Japanese Spider Crab

    By Mark Carnall, on 26 November 2013

    Back in October, I introduced this series (here’s a link to the opening post) about the specimens you’re near guaranteed to see in every natural history museum. We’ll take each specimen in turn and have a look at why they’re a usual suspect for display in a natural history museum.

    Image of natural history museum bingo with Japanese spider crab crossed out

    Legs like pegs, it’s Japanese spider crab. One down, 8 to go.

    The first specimen we’re going to take a look at is the Japanese spider crab. Japanese spider crabs are just one species, Macrocheira kaempferi. Confusingly, there is also a group of crabs, the family Majidae, called spider crabs which doesn’t include the most famous spider crab of them all. Japanese spider crabs are mostly found in coastal waters of southern Japan and have been recorded in waters as deep as 600 m so why do we find them in museums all over the world?

    (more…)

    NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM BINGO!

    By Mark Carnall, on 15 October 2013

    My colleague Jack Ashby alluded to the Natural History Bingo Card in a recent blog post so I thought I’d take the time to present it to the wide world! Natural history museums are funny places. Despite the millions of species of animals and the enormous variation within species between broods, sexes, life stage, populations and seasonal variations you’d expect that you could visit every natural history museum in the World (finances allowing) and never see the same thing twice. You might think that, but the truth is many natural history museums have the same stuff on display whether you’re at the Grant Museum, the Natural History Museum London or in Paris, New York, Prague or Plymouth.

    In fact, some specimens are so common, you can go around a natural history museum with this handy NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM BINGO* and nine times out of ten you’ll have seen most of these specimens before you get to the gift shop. So what gives?

    Natural History Bingo Card

    Click to embiggernate & cut out and Keep! Natural History Bingo modified from the version in Carnall, M.A (2011): Completely Rethinking the Organisation of Natural History Museums: A Taxonomically Arranged National Collection. NatSCA News:21

    (more…)

    Gotta catch ’em all – Top End Trapping

    By Jack Ashby, on 21 April 2011

    A delayed account of zoological fieldwork in Australia – Part 12

    Burton's snake lizard

    Burton’s snake lizard from a funnel trap

    From April 2010 I spent about five months undertaking several zoological field projects across Australia. I worked with government agencies, universities and NGOs on conservation and ecology studies ranging from Tasmanian devil facial tumour disease, the effect of fire, rain and introduced predators on desert ecology and how to poison cats. This series of blog posts is a delayed account of my time in the field.

    Weeks Sixteen to Nineteen – part 1

    For my final bit of fieldwork I joined a team of ecologists from the Australian Wildlife Conservancy (AWC) at one of their sanctuaries, carved out of the incredible Arnhem Land Plateau in the monsoonal forest of the Northern Territory’s Top End. (more…)