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Conchology Section
Auckland Museum Institute

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Newsletter - September 2000

Glenys welcomed everyone to the meeting including new member Lynette. After some lengthy discussions on Shell Show matters we were treated to a slide show presented by Betty with help from the group who have recently returned from Australian shell shows. These were Glenys and Kelvin Stace, Betty, Nancy, Rae, and Glad. They travelled from Brisbane to Townsville to Mt Isaac. Many old friendships were renewed and much hospitality given. There were some revealing slides on early morning scenes after sleeping in rows on the floor! The warm water at Dingo Beach looked inviting. Rae and Nancy were judges at the Yeppon Shell Show. Betty and Bob Grange were noted in the pictures, their enthusiasm for shells undiminished, even when you have to fight to get a look in at a dealer wares!
The most outstanding shell for Nancy at the show was a specimen of the hairy gastropod Alvinconcha heffleri. It lives in abyssal depths associated with hydrothermal vents. The chemoautotrophic bacteria in its enormous gills can oxidise the sulphur to produce energy. (See Poirieria 15(6)). She tried every way to get her hands on it but to no avail! We did however have an amazing slide to view. The Interpretive Centre at Mt Isaac was enjoyed with life-size models of marsupials. The visit to Lawnhill, on the border of the Northern Territory, was a highlight, they hold the record for the longest time spent in a hired canoe! Three gorges were traversed. The abundant wildlife included many species of birds, fresh water crocodiles and turtles.
Highly recommended was the Cairns sky rail trip with birdís eye view of waterfalls and the rich canopy of the rainforest.
The slides were supplemented by print collages of people, birds and other wildlife. Then of course there were some fabulous displays of shells. Gladys Goulstone had a tray, she has caught the collecting bug!

Welcome to 2 new Auckland members:

It was nice to see Les at the meeting. He displayed his fossil finds from Castlecliff, Wanganui. The unidentified one is Euciroa galatheae. Do you really want it back????

Geoff Hole would like everyone to know that Damarisí shell collection can be seen at DSIR Glen Eden, phone Peter Madison 817 5917 for details.

Margaret held a successful field trip for Forest and Bird and the public at Mellons Bay, Howick. Marine life was studied and litter picked up.

Bruce Hazelwood is working on introduced slugs. He wants any specimens you find. They should first be drowned in water, then preserved in ethanol or clear meths. Ph. Bruce (09) 525 0065.

Heather Smith is keen to buy a Compendium of Sea Shells by Tucker Abbott & Dance. Can you help? Phone Heather (09) 524 5068.

Barbara Jouvenaux wants to buy any spare New Zealand shells, common species in good condition, but nothing pricey. Phone (07) 827 7808, or Email

Dicathais orbita - won by Peter, 116mm from Nelson, however Beverley Elliot of Kaikoura, advises that she has a specimen 120mm from Parapara, NW Nelson. Margaret had a 110mm specimen from Browns Island in the Waitemata Harbour.
Perna canaliculus - Paul Leary won with a huge 205mm specimen from Rarawa.
The Whopper species for next month will be Crassostrea gigas and Cyclomactra ovata. Check your collection now.

One to look forward to. The topic will be a video shown by the marine curator Carol Diebel.

10 October 7.30pm. Auckland War Memorial Museum.
Entry by the Administration door between 7:15 and 7:45pm. No late admittance.
Kathy Campbell, from the Geology Department at Auckland University will speak on deep sea vents. This promises to be a very interesting topic.
Please bring a easily transportable tray you have prepared for the Shell Show. This will help new members with their entries.
There will be a door prize of Strophochelius musculus from Argentina. Come to the meeting to find out what this is!

Margaret Morley: Ph (09) 576 8323
Peter Poortman: Ph (09 817 5697: Email


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