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Conchology Section
Auckland Museum Institute

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Newsletter - April 2002

Last Word
Mr Richard Dell, FRSNZ, Conchologist, former Director of the National Museum, President of the the RSNZ 1977-81, died recently in Wellington.

New Member
We welcome Mr. Jean Paul van Weerl who hails from Holland, to the Conchology Section. Jean Paul plans to be in NZ for a year.

From the President
Our March meeting was well attended and the door prize was won by Fiona Thompson.
Nine members recounted their experiences shelling at Mahia and displayed photographs and a selection of collected specimens from the location. The most spectacular find of the trip was a large Argonauta nodosa. This was found by Glenys Stace on a beach at the end of the peninsula opposite Portland Is.
Peter Poortman exhibited a fine collection of shells from Bland Bay and a short video covering one day's exploits on the recent expedition to Gt. Barrier Is. was also shown.

Next Meeting: Tuesday 9th April 7:30 pm at the Museum.
Entrance by the rear Admin door between 7:15-7:30pm. We regret there can be no late admittance due to security regulations. Mystery door prize !
1. Video on the oceans; 'The Deep' from the Blue Planet series.
2. Shell collections: Shell of the night is the family of Cassididae. Members are invited to exhibit a selection of N.Z and WW Cassididae and also interesting acquisitions from recent shelling trips.
3. Short account of the Brisbane Shell Show held in March 02.

Next Committee meeting: Tues. May 14th, 6 pm, at the Museum, (dinner meeting)

Shell Auction 2002
The shell auction will be held on Sunday Nov 10th at the Albany Hall, Albany. There has been an excellent response to the auction, with more than 200 lots already registered. Please mark this date in your dairy now !

Bits and pieces
Nine pages of photos of our recent trip to Gt.Barrier Island can be viewed on the Internet. They include: the rendezvous with the crab fishing vessel Savannah, shelling in Nagel Cove, dredging, the night fishing expedition, dolphins in Katherine Bay etc. See them on the Skipper's website

Margaret Morley - with thanks to Norm Gardner - advises that the mystery shell labelled cochlis on display in the Museum is now known as Tanea zeiandica.

Assistant Professor Hamish Spencer recommends members to view website http;/

Patricia Langford suggests that publishing the dates of the month's low tides in the newsletter may prompt more members to go shelling.
Low tides in April are Waitemata, Mon.lst 0.2,1609 hrs. Sun 28th 0.1,1407.hrs. Manukau, 3hrs -19' later.

Jenny and Tony Enderby had a surprising encounter in February 2002 with a giant egg mass at the Poor Knights Islands.
By Tony Enderby.
Swimming 10 metres beneath the surface at the Poor Knights Islands, member of the Conchology Section and photojournalist, Jenny Enderby noticed a spherical mass drifting towards her. About two metres across and the consistency of a spider web it was like nothing she had seen before. After a couple of photographs she caught the attention of dive buddy and husband Tony who posed behind the mass to give an idea of size. The water was a cool 18degC, several degrees colder than the usual February temperature and the water was alive with salps, comb jellies and jellyfish.
Back on board, Norseman skipper Phil Bendle said he had never heard of anything like it before. Phil suggested posting the image onto Wade Doak's website
A phone call from Wade a week later had an almost positive ID - the egg mass of a large pelagic squid, possibly even Architeuthis dux.
Dr. Steve O'Shea, Niwa's celphalopod specialist, was 99.9% sure of the origin of the mass. It would be less than three weeks old, meaning that the parent animal had to be somewhere within a few hundred kilometres of the Poor Knights Islands. The images are believed to be the first photographic record of a giant squid egg mass.

See NZ. Herald Thurs. 28/Mar/02 for a report on Dr. Steve O'Shea's giant octopus discovery on the Chatham Rise.

Library News
A purchase of books is in the wind. Watch this space.
Librarian Gladys Goulstone (new address 38A Church Rd. Mangere Bridge, Ak.) ph. (09) 634-2823, will be in attendance at the Library in the Mataapuna Gallery on the Monday afternoon 2-3 pm before each meeting date. Please contact her re. books on the list mailed Sept 01- Gladys has extra copies of this. She will deliver your book order to the meeting, or if you send her an A4 P.O. handy bag with $2-95 in stamps, for each book, she will mail books to you. Please return books to Mataapuna as soon as possible or to Gladys at the next meeting, or mail them to her address above.

Tony and Jenny Enderby, P.O Box 139 Leigh, require articles for the next Poirieria issue. Queries: ph. 09-422-6127 or Email: (Back copies available.)

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Subscriptions are due for 2002. The annual subscription is $20-00. Please make cheques to; Conchology Section C/o R.A. Tyson, 16 Kain St, Mt Eden, Auckland 4, New Zealand.

I/we enclose $20.00 for my/our annual subscription:

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Editor: Rosa Tyson, Phone (09) 620-4523
Secretary, Peter Poortman: or Phone (09) 817 5697
Club website:


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