Preserved cuttlefish wanted for student observation

Lab manager

Larval Mass
Registered
#1
Hello,
I am the lab manager at a university in Georgia. I am looking to add a preserved cuttlefish to our collection for students to study in lab. So far, I have had no luck at all locating one. Can anyone provide me with where I can obtain a preserved cuttlefish?
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#5
Preservative question

Paradox,

Does alcohol work as well as Formalin? I have a baby octo that I put in formalin (13% formaldehyde, I think, but also used about 1/2 water) that I would like to let my grandaughter take to school but am concerned about the preservative. If I can put it in isopropyl alcohol, I would feel better about letting her take it.

Also, since I have already used the formalin, is mixing a bad idea?
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#6
Steve's article says that once a big squid is fixed in formalin, it's OK to put it in alcohol:

Preservation
Following the month in formalin solution the specimen needs to be thoroughly soaked and the mantle cavity gently flushed with low velocity water to remove residual formalin and miscellaneous grunge. Three water changes are recommended. Thereafter the specimen can be transferred to preservative, one of either 40% isopropyl alcohol (my preference) or 70% ethanol.

(from http://www.tonmo.com/science/public/squidfixingnotes.php )
 

Jean

Colossal Squid
Supporter
#7
Generally a specimen is fixed in formalin and then transferred to alcohol (either 95% ETOH or IPA) for long term storage and safer handling.

BTW in an emergency vodka or white rum works well!!!!!

J
 

monty

Colossal Squid
Staff member
Supporter
#8
Jean;90937 said:
BTW in an emergency vodka or white rum works well!!!!!
Avoid tequila lest anyone think your specimen is "the worm"... :wink:
 

cuttlegirl

Colossal Squid
Supporter
Registered
#10
Carolina Biological Supply and Ward's Scientific make a less toxic preservative that is safer for students. I don't know if they will sell to an individual though. They usually sell to a school or science based business. Formalin is a fixative, meaning it "fixes" the tissues so they do not decay. Alcohol can be used as a preservative (or fixative) that keeps "fixed" tissues from decaying. Alcohol is not as effective a fixative as formaldehyde.
 

DWhatley

Cthulhu
Staff member
Moderator
#11
Preserved specimen container question

Monty,

Believe it or not I read Steve's article just before the little guy was found dead and is why I tried preserving him since I had the formalin on hand (I don't trust this kind as it is much stronger than my usual but may now be useful for something other than parasite control). I totally forgot that he mentioned the alcohol afterwards as I had not expected to actually try it :oops: !

I am rather amazed at the way the little guy perserved as he still looks very much alive.

Any one have a good idea for a container that can be sealed permenantly?
 

Paradox

Haliphron Atlanticus
Supporter
#12
dwhatley;90923 said:
Paradox,

Does alcohol work as well as Formalin? I have a baby octo that I put in formalin (13% formaldehyde, I think, but also used about 1/2 water) that I would like to let my grandaughter take to school but am concerned about the preservative. If I can put it in isopropyl alcohol, I would feel better about letting her take it.

Also, since I have already used the formalin, is mixing a bad idea?
Not sure about mixing formalin with alcohol, but 70% isopropyl or rubbing alcohol works fine for small specimens. Ive done squids with a mantel length of 1 ft without any problems using alcohol. A baby octopus will do fine in this.
 

Paradox

Haliphron Atlanticus
Supporter
#13
you can get specimen jars easily online..ebay or science supplies. If you want it sealed permanently, you can always use silicone around the threads of the jar and screw the cap on. Ensure the threads are dry when you do this and to carefully screw the cap on as to not splash the alcohol onto the lid.

Not sure if this works with formalin solution, but Ive done this with alcohol.
 

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