The other 99% from down under: Marine biodiversity in Southern Australia

Wolfgang Zeidler, Ph.D.
South Australian Museum (SAM)

Wednesday, October 20, 1999
3:00 p.m.—Pacific Forum

Zeidler.gif (33043 bytes)The South Australian Museum (http://www.samuseum.sa.gov.au/) collection of marine invertebrates is currently represented by 23 phyla and holds more than one million specimen lots which include 1,700 holotypes, 11,300 secondary types, 33,000 registered lots, and 1,400 microscope slide preparations.

The collection also holds about 3,500 color slides of living marine invertebrates. In most cases the animal was collected and preserved after being photographed in its natural habitat. The specimens are preserved in either alcohol or formalin, or dried and placed in drawers.

The South Australian Museum holds one of the most significant historical collections of Australian molluscs in the world. In addition, historical and recent collections from southern Australia, the arid zone, Tasmania, New Zealand and Antarctica, mean that the SAM collection of 'marine invertebrates' is considered to be one of the more important collections in Australia.

The collections are not entirely marine. Some groups such as Protozoans, Molluscs, Annelids, and Crustaceans have representatives on both land and in freshwater. For example, the land snail collection is one of the finest in Australia having thousands of representatives from around the world as well as unique examples of species found solely in South Australia (Flinders Ranges).

This talk will examine the importance of taxonomy and the work of museums and will also introduce you to the incredible marine biodiversity of Southern Australia with an emphasis on invertebrates.

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Last updated: December 19, 2000