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As this is the first blog, I would like to introduce you these marine animals and their collections at the Museum and why I am creating this blog.

 

Conulariids have a distinctive shape that resembles an inverted pyramid or ice cream cone with square cross section, with a length from about 2cm to 30cm, but most measure 3cm to 10cm from the closed pointed end to the aperture at the wider open end.

 

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Ctenoconularia hispida (Slater, 1907)

 

 

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Reconstruction of a group of conulariids

 

The Conulariid Collection at the Museum consists of more than 1,100 specimens whose distribution goes from the Upper Cambrian (501 million years ago) to the Upper Triassic (199.6 million years ago), and it covers the whole stratigraphical distribution of this group. This collection has been key in systematic and taxonomical studies of conulariids at the beginning of the 20th century and it is a crucial source for reference today.

 

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Distribution of Museum conulariids by period


These amazing animals are incredibly abundant and lend their name to particular geological units as the Conularia-Sandstone in the Upper Ordovician of Jordan. There are more than 400 species of conulariid described.

 

Bryozoans are colonial animals whose individuals are called zooids. Their dimensions are microscopic.

 

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Archimedes Owen, 1838

 

 

The Bryozoa Collection, with more than 1,500,000 specimens, is one of the richest and most important in the world, containing hand specimens, samples, slides and thin sections. They spread from the Early Ordovician (485 million years ago), to the Holocene-Present.

 

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  Distribution of the Museum bryozoans by periods

 

 

I am focusing in these collections because the conulariid one has been the aim of my PhD and part of my research, and the Bryozoan Collection is the one I am curating in addition to being part of my research.

 

In the next blogs I will show how I curate them, new technologies in collection management, part of my research, fieldwork and visitors of these collections.