From our collections

Every now and then I take a trip down to the collections pods to see what neat specimens are being prepared for the gallery. Here’s my latest discovery.

Judith Price, Assistant Collections Manager for the invertebrate collection gave me some background on this fascinating specimen.

Cancer magister, Dungeness crab, CMNC 2004-6024

Cancer magister, Dungeness crab, CMNC 2004-6024

Although it can be found on menus as the Dungeness crab, this animal was given its scientific name in recognition of the zodiac sign Cancer, The Crab. This specimen was collected in 1908 in Departure Bay, near Nanaimo, British Columbia. Like many crustacean specimens prepared for museums at that time it was dried, stuffed with cotton fibre and wired into a lifelike pose. This makes it a good specimen for display, and may even be of more use to modern researchers studying DNA than a more modern animal prepared using formaldehyde or ethanol!

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