|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..!
||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.
||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.
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...
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
The test runs we have done with a rather basic setup in schools in the US and in Belgium are overwhelming.
||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.