Auckland Shell Club
Markus Niiranen, an avid shell collector from Finland, is currently on a two month shelling trip in the South Pacific area with his friend/assistant Susanna.
He timed his NZ visit to include our ASC meeting, and kindly agreed to be our guest speaker for the evening.
Markus is no ordinary shell collector – he has been totally blind since the age of one.
He has been collecting shells for about 10 years, and in that time has put together a large and beautiful collection.
By feeling the unique shapes and textures of shells, Markus normally does not have too much difficulty identifying them. There are many challenges for him to collect and learn about shells, but modern computer technology such as Braille devices and text-to-speech software makes it possible.
His favourite families are Bursidae, Cassidae, Ranellidae, Struthiolariidae, and Calliostomatidae, and he is particularly interested in NZ shells.
The shelling possibilities are very poor in Finland if you don't like land snails. Only some Mytilus, Macoma balthica and brackish water species can live in the Baltic Sea because the salinity is so low and it is quite polluted. Markus does not know of any other collectors there, and it's possible that he is the only shell collector in Finland.
His parents, who he lives with, are becoming concerned about his room filling up with shell cabinets, but stopping collecting them or changing to another hobby is simply out of the question.
Markus and Susanna collected in Tahiti for one week prior to their arrival in NZ, and after NZ they will continue their expedition in Fiji, Samoa, & Hawaii.
Peter Poortman is hosting them during their 3 weeks here, providing accommodation, his car, and a Navman GPS programmed with all the best shelling locations in Northland and Coromandel.
Meeting attendees brought in trays of Markus' favourite shell families, and had many questions.
An article about Markus including photos of his collection can be found at http://www.femorale.com.br/Collectors/markus/index.asp.
Epsom Community Centre, 202 Gillies Avenue, Epsom at 7:30pm on Tuesday 10th of April (doors open 7pm).
Patricia Langford will give a presentation on 'Mollusca and Man'.
She has given a similar talk before but people enjoyed it so much we've asked for it again.
Bring along shells that are Man associated. Eg. Shells and stamps, shells used in decoration, shell jewellery, shell food - anything people have used shells for.
Meeting: Tuesday 8th May
Anna Berthelsen who is researching Corallina at Leigh for her Ph.D. will come and share with us what she has discovered. Please bring along shells found below tidal zone down to about 10 metres.
Shell Auction - Albany Hall, Saturday 27th October 2012
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 (09 8171397 or email@example.com), with an indication of how many lots you would like to enter.
A reminder that if you have not already paid, subscriptions for 2012 are now due.
Invoices were enclosed with the February newsletter.
Contact our Treasurer Michael Barlow (09 6233231) if you have any queries.
We welcome contributions to our club magazine 'Poirieria'.
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 articles to Peter Poortman at firstname.lastname@example.org, or post to 26 Pendlebury Street, Green Bay, Auckland 0604.
We have an extensive collection of books, magazines, and scientific publications available, as well as a biological microscope.
Luen, our librarian, is currently doing a stocktake. Can members please return any library books that they may have, or just let him know what you have – IE. The book name, the club id number on it, and if possible the year of publication.
Luens contact details are: email@example.com or (09)8345195 (after hours).
Other Club News
. As part of a wider study of the genus Cominella, Hamish Spencer requires some ethanol preserved live taken specimens 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. He will send you the details, including collection materials and the necessary documentation.
. Mary Agnes Wotton needs help identifying a small limpet she recently received from the USA. It looks like Cellana vitiensis Powell from Fiji, but she only has a black and white illustration in 'Patellid Limpets of the World' to go by. If anyone can help with this (especially if you have an identified specimen to compare it to) please contact Mary Agnes on email@example.com.
. Juan Francisco Araya, a shell collector in Chile, is interested in exchanging shells. He has mostly Chilean shells but also some foreign ones, and is looking mostly for New Zealand land shells. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
. There will be no newsletter next month because the editor is overseas.
. 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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