Showing posts from February, 2020

Figuring it out: part 2

Another day, another specimen. Friends, this is science. The ultimate sponge book! I'm working with an intern right now to identify all the species that I collected from stones in the Arctic deep sea last summer. I had been analyzing hard-bottom communities in the Fram Strait for years and even written papers on the distribution patterns of sponges, soft corals, and anemones on dropstones and a boulder reef in the area, without being able to name most of the species. I came up with my own descriptive names to call them - flat white sponge, bulb-tipped clump, splotch. But those colorful morphotype descriptors were just not going to cut it. Now that I have some physical specimens, we're seizing the chance and figuring out the proper names. One of the biggest challenges in identifying specimens is gathering reference materials. Some taxonomists enjoy writing reference books, while others choose to publish their results in individual papers. Some taxa are extremely wel