Auckland Shell Club
Heather welcomed our Patron, Jack Grant-Mackie, the speaker for the evening.
Jack showed us a photo of an 11.6 mm fossil Alcithoe arabica egg case aged about 500,000 years. There are two unhatched juveniles inside. He found this fossil many years ago in a mud and sandstone concretion at Castlecliff, Wanganui. Jack has not discovered any other egg case fossil records, either in New Zealand or overseas, so his find is unique. Under a hand lens you can see distinct spirals on the first whorl after the domed smooth protoconch. This feature is not in descriptions of Alcithoe arabica because these early whorls of adult shells are exposed to abrasion the longest. Specimens living in mud are not as abraded as those living in sand. One shell shows the first axials developing. Although Jack has the other half of the fossil, the shell, presumably used as an attachment for the capsule, is not visible.
Judging by the numerous questions Jacks talk stimulated a lot of interest, e.g. how do the young escape the capsule? It is very thin only 0.3mm thick, so they can eat their way through. He had some questions for us - do all Alcithoe species lay calcareous egg capsules? Jack plans to write the full story in Poirieria.
We enjoyed several trays of fossils brought in by Jack and members to support the topic.
Thank you Jack for an interesting talk.
Ian Scott lost his battle with cancer on 27/May. A long time member of our club, Ian was an active shell collector and diver who compiled a superb collection of NZ shells. He was very knowledgeable about NZ mollusca.
Dougs mother, Olive Snook, passed away on 30/April. Olive joined our club in 1972 and was a member for many years. Her favourite shell family was Cowries, and her displays of these won Shell Show trophies.
Next Meeting - Tuesday 14th June
Epsom Community Centre, 202 Gillies Avenue, Epsom at 7:30pm (doors open at 7pm).
Come and have fun with Margaret who will bring her microscope to show living micromolluscs, ostracods and a pycnogonid.
After a short talk she will demonstrate how to sieve shell sand and pick for shells. Look at her drawings of ostracods. Try your luck at picking and keeping some deep water shells from sunken wood. There will be a non-competitive, light-hearted activity like a treasure hunt! This game includes your views on the future of the club and how it provides (or not!) for your interests. Please give this some thought.
Bring your spectacles, lens if you have one, small zip up plastic bags, labels, micro shells to identify and paper and pencil.
Bali Shell Museum
On his trip to Bali last month, Peter Poortman was surprised to discover a superb Shell Museum near to the main tourist areas of Kuta & Legian.
The Museum contains a huge selection of seashells from all over the world, including several NZ species. It also contains an outstanding collection of fossils, preserved sharks, and other sea creatures such as crustacea, star fish, sea urchins, etc. The layout and presentation of the exhibits is first class.
The Museum is housed in its own 1500 square meter air-conditioned building, and includes a gallery and gift shop selling high quality shell crafts (Eg. ornately carved Syrinx aruanus), homewares, lamps, and accessories.
Opened in September 2009, Bali Shell Museum is the dream come true of Mr Stephen MT who built up the collection during a lifetime fascination with shells.
Address: 819 Sunset Road, Kuta, Bali. Website: www.balishellmuseum.com.
Bali has numerous attractions, but this Shell Museum would by itself make a trip there worthwhile.
Shell Auction - Albany Hall, Saturday 22nd October 2011
If you would like to sell at the auction then please register your interest with Peter Poortman (Ph: 09 817 1397), preferably with an indication of how many lots you would like to enter.
We would welcome contributions to our club magazine "Poirieria".
Please think about what you could provide. Anything related to shells or collecting would be greatly appreciated - Eg. shelling trips/finds, personal observations/tips, scientific research, historic anecdotes, a notable washup, etc.
Please email to Peter Poortman at firstname.lastname@example.org, or post to 26 Pendlebury Street, Green Bay, Waitakere 0604.
Contact Patricia Langford on (09) 479 6149 if you have any queries.
We have an extensive collection of books, magazines, and scientific publications available, as well as a biological microscope.
Other Club News
. Austrofusus glans and Austrofusus chathamensis which were recently renamed to Aethocola have now reverted back to Austrofusus again. Our sympathies for anyone who had already changed their labels!
. Our intrepid President, Heather, and her twin sister Alison have been having the time of their lives in Africa ... "Last night we slept in luxurious log cabins near the foot of Mt Kilimanjaro. During the night lions walked along the electric fence 30 metres away, and a bat got caught inside our mosquito net. We showered this morning while monkeys swung in tall trees outside our private window, and hoopie birds bowed when they went hoopie."
. Items of interest for the monthly newsletter are always welcome - email to email@example.com, or post to 26 Pendlebury Street, Green Bay, Auckland 0604.
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