Bring out yer dead.


I am taking an invertebrate zoology course and I need to acquire an invertebrate collection of some kind.

Now I have the corpse of one of DWhatley's octopuses (Dink) and I have a desiccated stinkbug, but I need a total of ten critters representing seven phyla and ten classes.

So far I have:

Mollusca - Cephalopoda (Abdopus aculeatus)
Arthropoda - Insecta (Halyomorpha halys)

Annelida - Oligochaeta I may obtain on my own, and possibly also Arthropoda - Myriapoda, Arthropoda - Arachnida, or Arthropoda - Crustacea.

Anyone got any dead cnidarians, nematodes, platyhelminths, tardigrades, nemerteans, brachiopods, and/or bryozoans ? I really don't want to have to kill any critters just for an invertebrate collection.


Larval Mass
Do they need to be preserved dead specimens? Otherwise some fossil hunting may be in your future! Nearly all fossils at almost any fossil hunting site are invertebrate fossils. Additionally, the beach (or even the shore of a lake or river) is also a GREAT place to go invert hunting! Need an isopod? Pillbugs/sow bugs/rolly pollies are the only terrestial isopod, but they make up for it with their ubiquity.

Overall, finding 7 phyla is going to be harder than filling out your ten classes. Do you have access to a compound microscope? That would make it waaaaaay easier! Any soil sample will be rife with flatworms, rotifers, tardigrades, etc... but isolating these and bringing them to your professor is a little harder than toting around an animal you can, you know, see with the naked eye.

If you're far from the ocean, let me know and I'll see if I can't help... especially if tests (class echinoidea "skeletons") or fossils will do! WARNING: I may be a bit out-of-date and/or following a different classification than your professor (it's one of those things), but I'll certainly try to help. Happy hunting!


Staff member
Echinoidea won't help huh? I have a couple of urchin shells in my tank and one is a recent demise. cnidarians would be hard to come by already dead. The ones I know of are gelatinous so you really don't know they are dead until they disintegrate or just disappear (flowers just shrink away into nothing). I found a Cnidaria (plate coral) and what I think was my brain coral (too many years ago to be sure that is what I am looking at :hmm:). If any of these are helpful, PM me with you address and which ones you can use.

From what I read recently about tardigrades, you could just bring a dozen live with some moss :grin: and a magnifying glass. Not sure how you would begin to kill one and preserve it.


Fossil hunting isn't great around here, and I don't know if I'm willing to make an hour-plus long drive to hunt for stuff. If anyone knows about good and legal VA fossil hunting, that'd be great (I don't know if my professor will accept extinct specimens).

DWhatley, maybe I could use your dead urchin. I dunno if you can send it dry, but I'd be happy to pay postage. Let me give some more thought to what I can get myself.


Colossal Squid
When do you need them by? I can possibly send a brachipod shell and maybe bryozoan skeletons (NZ is a hotbed of both!) If not soon pm me your addy and I'll see what I can do!


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