Exciting new tool for marine conservation: environmental DNA

Fish and other aquatic animals shed DNA into the surrounding water. This means that seawater is filled with the DNA of the animals living there, and this is known as environmental DNA (eDNA). Scientists have used environmental DNA to study a range of animals, from earlier eDNA studies in 2008 (e.g. on the invasive American Bullfrog), …

Heart Shaped Predator

Here are some of my photographs from Manchester Museum up close and personal! If you have an interest in nature, zoology, marine biology or the outdoors you will love the collections at Manchester Museum.

The Natural History of Crustaceans


Phyllolithodes papillosus Brandt, 1848

Apart from the obvious delicacy and beauty of this specimen, which overwhelmed me when I first saw it, it was actually the ‘u’ shaped depression in the middle of the dorsal side of this specimen that caught my eye. It looks spectacular and, now that the specimen is bleached of it’s colour you can see clearly every ridge and nook. It would originally have been a muddy brown/green with dark red ridges, colours which are long gone from our specimen here in Manchester. It seems like an unusual little thing, which I like and it makes me want to know more.

I then went on to find that it’s common name is the heart crab. For such a masculine and sturdy looking thing, I couldn’t help but think the heart crab didn’t do it much justice.

They are found from subtidal zones right down to 183m…

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