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Newsletter - May 2011

April meeting
In keeping with the theme of the night, Doug brought in a wonderful tray of Coralliophila (a mollusc family named for its love of coral). That display earned him two trophies at the recent Wellington Shell Show - a first place award, and an exhibitors choice award.
Heather brought in some beautiful trays of shells from the Coral Triangle, and also the magnificent four volume book set "Philippine Marine Mollusks".

The room was filled to capacity for Dr Richard Willans presentation on "Marine Molluscs of the Coral Triangle: The Most Diverse Place on the Planet".
Richard joined our club in early 1964, and some of our long time members shared their often humourous memories of him.
Richard dedicated his talk to Professor John Morton who had passed away exactly one month ago. He had known John Morton for several decades - as a teacher and mentor, as the patron of our Shell Club for 27 years, and as a lover of New Zealand nature. Richard described John Morton as a truely inspirational person who had a great gift for illustration. We viewed some examples of his outstanding rapid free-flowing drawing style.
Richard also dedicated his talk to John Mortons devoted wife, Pat, who passed away 9 days after John.

Richard then spoke about the special ability of molluscs to colonise every habitat across the globe, from the highest mountains to the deepest seas. Species occurances are more numerous near the equator, but for some reason are especially concentrated in certain areas. Biogeography is the specific area of science that studies this.
The area of greatest marine mollusc biodiversity is a roughly triangular area that comprises just under 1/12th of the Indo-Pacific ocean.

This so-called "Coral Triangle" extends from the northern tip of the Philippines down to Java, and across to the Solomon Islands. Within these waters live an exceptionally large number of species - many more even than in the Great Barrier Reef. For example there are 130 Cypraea species and 220 Cone species so far identified living within the Coral Triangle.
Richard displayed many outstanding photos of live shells and other marine creatures in this habitat, and we were left awed by what a remarkably diverse and beautiful area it is.
Thank you again Richard for a wonderful presentation.

Next Meeting - Tuesday 10th May
Epsom Community Centre, 202 Gillies Avenue, Epsom at 7:30pm (doors open at 7pm).

This will be a fossil Mollusca night please bring along any fossil shells you may have.
Dr Jack Grant-Mackie will share some information on "Fossilised Penion". Jack is always a good speaker with a wealth of information.

Lorna Douglas
Long time member Lorna Douglas, wife of the late Norm Douglas, died peacefully on 6th April 2011 at Middlemore Hospital, aged 92.

Shell Auction - Albany Hall, Saturday 22nd October 2011
The Albany Hall has been booked, so mark it in your diary now!
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.

Poirieria Magazine
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 petermwp@gmail.com, or post to 26 Pendlebury Street, Green Bay, Waitakere 0604.
Contact Patricia Langford on (09) 479 6149 if you have any queries.

Club Library
We have an extensive collection of books, magazines, and scientific publications available, as well as a biological microscope.

Other Club News
. Stephanie Clark, Vice President of the Chicago Shell Club, is interested in exchanging and can offer a wide range of land, freshwater, and marine species from particularly Australia and the US. Stephanie can be contacted at meridolum@ozemail.com.au.

. As part of a wider study of the genus Cominella, Hamish Spencer is looking for 3-4 alcohol preserved live taken individuals of the Norfolk Island endemic species Cominella norfolkensis. If you are going to Norfolk Island and would be willing to collect these whelks, please contact Hamish at h.spencer@otago.ac.nz. He will send you the details, including collection materials and the necessary documentation.

. Items of interest for the monthly newsletter are always welcome - email to petermwp@gmail.com, or post to 26 Pendlebury Street, Green Bay, Auckland 0604.

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