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Porifera museum collection of the Musée Zoologique of Strasbourg
Wandhammer, M.D. & M. Meister. Porifera museum collection of the Musée Zoologique of Strasbourg. Musée Zoologique of Strasbourg.
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As dry sponges, in alcohol or as spicule preparations, the Porifera collection embodies more than 1800 specimens. It consists of a general collection which includes specimens from Emile Topsent and two nominal collections with numerous types: the Döderlein collection and that of Eduard Oskar Schmidt (1823-1886). more
Porifera collection As dry sponges, in alcohol or as spicule preparations, the Porifera collection embodies more than 1800 specimens. It consists of a general collection which includes specimens from Emile Topsent and two nominal collections with numerous types: the Döderlein collection and that of Eduard Oskar Schmidt (1823-1886). Schmidt was a renowned German zoologist who spent part of his career in Strasbourg (1872-1886). He was close to Ernst Haeckel who at the time worked on the Adriatic Sea. Therefore Schmidt studied sponges from that area and identified many novel species. He was also connected to Agassiz father and son, and as a consequence, to the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard. Through Alexander Agassiz, he benefited from the finds of the U.S. Coast Survey Expeditions. Emile Topsent, curator of the Museum between 1919 and 1927, was also a specialist of Porifera and spent much of his time studying the collection of the Museum, where he discovered a number of new species. The Porifera collection further contains some hundred spicule preparations of yet unspecified sponges collected in the second half of the 19th century. They originate from Alexander Agassiz (1879), from diverse expeditions (indicated as Barentz Exp. 1884, Varna Exp. 1883, Pariser Exp.), from the Harvard Museum and from the Goddefroy Museum in Hamburg (1861-1885). Ludwig Döderlein collection In 1879 the German biologist Ludwig H.P. Döderlein (1855-1936) accepted a teaching position at the Medical Department of Tokyo University. This period belongs to the Meiji era which represents the end of the Sakoku, or political isolation, and the opening of Japan to other countries. The Emperor Meiji, being fond of progress and modern science, invited many European specialists to Japan. Döderlein was the first biologist from Eastern Europe to stay in that country. During his two-year stint (1879-1881), he often visited the Enoshima peninsula and started buying fish on the market to bottle them for a collection. Later on he fished them himself, together with many other marine animals. He extensively explored the Sagami Gulf in the Tokyo area. In addition to marine fauna, he collected amphibians (including a giant salamander), mammals, birds, and many snakes. Despite poor conservation and travel conditions, he managed to bring back with him to Europe an extraordinary collection of more than 400 fish species, of sponges, crustaceans, crinoids, sea urchins, cnidaria, bryozoans, etc. In 1893 he was appointed Professor of Zoology in Strasbourg and simultaneously became curator of the Museum. He took the opportunity to hire specialists such as J. Thiele and F.E. Schulze (Porifera) and A. Ortmann (Decapod Crustaceans) to analyse his Japanese collections. In 1919, Döderlein had to leave Alsace and abandoned the major part of his collections to the Museum. They hold thousands of invaluable specimens, among which many are types, and they are still regularly investigated. The Japanese consider that Döderlein was Japan’s first oceanographer. He is credited with having attracted worldwide attention of scientists to the extraordinary biodiversity of the Sagami Bay.
Biology > Benthos, Biology > Ecology - biodiversity
Marine, Benthos, Museum collections, World, Porifera
World [Marine Regions]
1860 - 1960
Musée Zoologique of Strasbourg (MZS), more, data owner
Dataset status: In Progress
Data type: Data
Data origin: Museum collection
Metadatarecord created: 2011-02-04
Information last updated: 2013-06-05