Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Gorgeous Goniasterid Starfish! & some Cousteau Connection??

 Bonjour from Paris! This week: a new post looking at some cool specimens I'm looking at while researching at the world famous Museum national d'Historie Naturelle!   Home of Lamark and many other natural history legends!

Today...two neat specimens with some interesting commentary and history, respectively...

First, a rarely encountered species & some taxonomic commentary... 

Paraferdina sohariae! It LOOKS like Fromia monilis, but isn't....  (as I said here awhile back..)
They Key is in the arrangement of spines (or the lack thereof) on the underside of the tube foot groove...

which is unfortunate, as you often don't see people with pictures of these in the wild...
This looks like Paraferdina 

Here's a "proper" Fromia monilis.. similar but with smaller marginal plates and more slender arms. 

I will be going back to Flickr, where I will be beating my head into a hole in the wall, trying to figure all these different things out now... 

A starfish from Cousteau?? 
Here's some cool shots of the Atlantic "cookie" star Peltaster placenta, which I 'm showing you, to give you an intro to ANOTHER specimen of this species below... These generally live at SCUBA depth and much deeper...
A pic of this species alive...Note how the disk is much more swollen
I showed you the pic above, so I could share a cool specimen of this species I found... 
 WOW! Look at the name of the collector! Could this be THE Calypso of Jacques Cousteau fame??? 

The MNHN is of course, the "national repository" (i.e., where they put all their stuff) of France, in the same way that the Smithsonian is the national repository of the United States. So, yeah, in theory anything they collect would be here. 
The tag indicates "1964 (May), Greece".  Cousteau was in the nearby Red Sea in 1964 shooting his epic "Le Monde Sans Soleil" aka The World without Sun in 1964!! Could this have been collected before or perhaps as an excursion by the Calypso away from Red Sea??
What other interesting specimens will present themselves?? 

BONUS: And if you like the food porn? Here's some fresh, hand made donuts from a Farmer's Market.. Mmmmm....

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