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NEWS


January 2018    We went to Mirbat and the Hallaniyat Islands in Oman, on board the Oman Aggressor, together with Wayne Hasson. We discovered ten (!) new species of Marinellidae, one of which has been named Dentimargo aggressorum Cossignani & Lorenz 2018. At the Mirbat Marriott Hotel Beach, Felix noticed that the abundant shallow-water species commonly known under the name Colina pinguis did not really resemble the nominate South African taxon. Subsequent examination of the shells revealed a new species endemic to the area of Mirbat. It has been named Colina lorenzi Bozzetti 2018. We had not expected to find so many new species in the limited time we spent..!
March 2018
The second Volume of the long-awaited Cowry book has been launched. A 7 years trip of compiling the 1400 pages in total has come to an end and there is time for new adventures.
April 2018
Felix went to Baltimore to give talks to sponsors and affiliates of the Molluscan Science Foundation, Inc.
Shortly after USA he went to Western Australia to attend an expedition using a remotely operated vessel commercially collecting shells. Many new species have been discovered by this venture in recent years.
May 2018
We were invited by SUBEX and HEPCA to attend a biological symposium with diving and photography in the bay of Sahl Hasheesh in Egypt, hosted by Johann Vifian. We did a lot of diving and identified at least three new species of Turridae, one of which will be named after SUBEX. We then went on a private research trip on board our favorite Egyptian liveaboard, the MV Aeolus with our team of six. Hardly to believe, but we discovered a new species of Cowry, alas only a single fresh dead shell, yet so distinct that it will be named in the near future. Who knew...
August 2018
The School Project is entering the next level. Felix and Jana are busy editing the fact-cards. The idea of the school project is to put shells into the hands of 5-7 graders to trigger fascination and awareness - for many kids it will be the first time they can examine an item from living nature, sadly enough. Together with the Molluscan Science Foundation we will deliver posters, information for teachers and sets of readily available, dead-collected shells (approx. 20 species) plus fact-cards (see below samples) on a total of 40 selected species, and send them out to schools nationwide. The kids identify the shells they are given, do a show and tell with their classmates, scan the QR code for a link to additional information, movies, etc. In following lessons, the teacher will discuss  the vulnerability of the habitats the shells live in, the necessity to preserve them, and how each of us can contribute to protect the mollusca and their environments, e.g. by reducing waste, and conserving ressources such as water and electricity.
The test runs we have done with a rather basic setup in schools in the US and in Belgium are overwhelming.
November 2018
To broaden our knowledge of the Caribbean, we went to Curaçao and Aruba. We left out Bonaire because a place where you are not allowed to even pick shells up from the beach is out of bounds for us. In Curaçao we hired the Curasub to look for shells to a depth of 300 m. We returned with rich material from the beaches of both islands, the intertidal zone and the upper sublittoral. A comprehensive report will soon be published in The Festivus magazine.


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