A request for buccal masses.

Discussion in 'Education and Employment' started by Gill, May 27, 2010.

  1. Gill

    Gill Larval Mass Registered

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    Hi there,

    I’m a PhD student based in Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland. As part of my PhD I am investigating microwear on cephalopod beaks and radula. So this post is basically a request (some may say begging mission!) for any cephalopod buccal masses out there in need of a good home, with or without the rest of the body (which we could use for stomach content analysis especially for wild caught specimens of unknown diet). Cephalopods with known diets (i.e. those raised under lab conditions or in aquaria) would be especially appreciated, but I will be grateful for any samples. I know people can become attached their cephalopods, but the donation of these samples will hopefully further scientific knowledge.

    If you can assist (or know anyone who can) then arrangements are in place for a pack to be sent to you for the transport of your sample/s.

    All specimens in any condition, with or without collecting data, will be useful. Please can you pass on this request to others who could help. If you want any further information or can provide samples then please contact me.

    Many Thanks, Gill.
     
  2. monty

    monty Colossal Squid Staff Member Supporter

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    :welcome: to TONMO, and I hope some of our members can help you out with your project... and please keep us updated on how it's going!
     
  3. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    I have a whole octopus I would donate, O.Briareus, caught in the wild at only a few days old and raised until she died just over a year later. The journal I kept of her life is here ( http://www.tonmo.com/community/index.php?threads/11015/ )

    How would shipping work? She is in a one gallon zip-lock bag with ~ a liter of formalin.
     
  4. Gill

    Gill Larval Mass Registered

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    Hi Dave, That's brilliant! Especially as we know her diet! The shipping would work by us sending you out a "pack" with all you would need and some simple instructions and then you sending it back to us, unfortunatley we had only really considered shipping with alcohol as the preservative so I'll need to check out the rules (UK and US) on Formalin shipping and get back to you, but I'm guessing it won't be allowed (at least not in such a quantity)! A big thank-you for your response, it'll be people like you who really help get this project of the ground!

    Cheers for now, Gill.
     
  5. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Gill,
    I'll see CaptFish's offer and raise him one (or, if you will wait a month, two). I also have a formalin preserved briareus and a macropus as well as an additional living post brood female. The two dead ones are still in formalin but I always transfer to alcohol by rinsing with saltwater and then placing them in 90% isopropyl alcohol . Would you prefer the one who is still alive to be put first in formalin and then in alcohol or just use the alcohol without the initial preservation?
    I may also have some very small, new hatch that can be preserved over the next couple of weeks. They hatched today and survival will be low to non-existent. I don't know how many I will be able to recover and preserve but let me know if these will be of interest for this or any other project and I will try to recover as many as I can.

    You can reach me through the TONMO PM or email to set up arrangements if any or all of these will be helpful.
     
  6. Gill

    Gill Larval Mass Registered

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    Formalin/Alcohol, shipping etc

    Ok I've been informed that apparently it's fine that it's in formalin.
    The regulations are that you can only ship one hazardous material at a time, but if it's just one specimen it doesn't matter. As for the specimen/s would either of you want the body/bodies back or could donate this/these to a museum once we are finished?

    Anyway the jist of this is that we'll take them! including the very small new hatch which will be brilliant as they will hopefully have very little microwear at all, therefore providing excellent examples of relatively pristine beaks!

    For any specimens that have not yet been exposed to any preservative then just alcohol without the formalin first is fine, the formalin may have a tendancy to make the beaks more brittle and the radula may be more awkward to extract from formalin preserved specimens so just alcohol may make the job a bit easier for us but formalin ones are still good!

    It might take us a couple of weeks to get the kit together, but this is how it will work: we'll need you to drain off the fluid, wrap it in cloth/paper towel, seal it in a zip lock (double bag) and then post in a box.

    hopefully this clears up a few things and I'll keep you informed as things progress at our end, once again a big thanks for both your responses!

    Cheers, Gill.
     
  7. CaptFish

    CaptFish Colossal Squid Staff Member Moderator

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    Cool. I'll do it! Let me know when you are ready and I will PM you my address. I don't think Legs is in a hurry.

    I have only one request, PICTURES of what you do when you do it. it will make the perfect conclusion to my Journal. If you want to send the body on to be used by someone else that would be even cooler!
     
  8. DWhatley

    DWhatley Cthulhu Staff Member Moderator

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    Just ditto CaptFish's response for me. I have had several of my octos go to furthering eductation in one way or another and it is the reason I preserve them when they die. I hope I can recover some of the hatchlings but are you aware of how small these are? In any case, I will try to find them.
     
  9. robyn

    robyn Vampyroteuthis Supporter

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    Hi Gill, are you interested in nautilus buccal masses? If so, try emailing Jennifer Basil at Brooklyn College (jbasil@brooklyn.cuny.edu). I did my PhD on nautilus behaviour in her lab. We had a number of frozen animals when I was there, I imagine she still has them. Diet would be know for a year or more prior to death, but all would originally have been wild caught. And I, too, would like to hear more details about your study - sounds fascinating.

    Robyn.
     
  10. Gill

    Gill Larval Mass Registered

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    Hi Robyn, that's brilliant news, I am very interested in Nautilus beaks. It would be brilliant to get some of these to look at, I'll contact Jennifer now and hopefully I can presuade her to donate me some! I am mentally busy at the moment but will try and write a bit more of an explanitory post soon giving a bit more on what we are trying to do.
    Thanks, Gill.
     

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