Linking Challenger specimens with ocean bottom samples

It is possible to link some of the Challenger benthic invertebrates curated within taxonomic collections at the Natural History Museum with the residues and bulk samples from which they came.

Recommended search process

Example of the search process recommended for ocean acidification researchers looking for particular taxa:

  1. Consult the relevant collection database, such as the zoology specimen database.
    A search for the ostracod Bythocypris reniformis shows that 8 specimen slides of this species collected on the Challenger expedition exist in the Zoology Department.
  2. Consult Challenger reports
    According to the Challenger report on Ostracods, Bythocypris reniformis was collected on the sea floor at stations 24, 120 and 122.
  3. Consult the ocean bottom deposit (OBD) and residue collection databases
    Each of these stations is represented in the OBD collection (station 24: 6 bottles, 13 tubes, 1 jar, 7 slides; station 120: 7 bottles, 4 tubes, 3 slides; station 122: 2 bottles, 2 tubes, 2 jars) and in the sieved residues (station 24: 6 tubes; station 120: 6 tubes, 1 box; station 122: 1 tube, 2 boxes).

Thus, while the zoology slides of species will not be available for destructive analysis, the original bulk samples and residues that the specimens came from and, in theory, that contain more specimens, should be available for ocean acidification-related research.

Researchers interested in particular localities could directly search the OBD or residue databases for station numbers of interest.