Team of scientists identifies Sulawesi invertebrates

Caridina boehmei

Dr. Thomas von Rintelen and other scientists are working full speed at the scientific descriptions of invertebrate animals from the Malili and Poso lake systems of Central Sulawesi. Besides the known cardinal shrimp and harlequin shrimp and the extraordinarily beautiful tylomelania snails, there are many other species which have still not been described living in the lakes. It would interest non-scientists to know that describing a shrimp species, unfortunately, is not as easy as it looks: Less so the colouring, but more so the number and shape of the spikes on the head shield or carapace (rostrum) along with the length, shape and distribution of the legs, as well as of the mandibles, are decisive when describing a species.

Tylomelania boehmei

In his work, Thomas von Rintelen describes many snails from this lake which is around 1 million years old. Describing snails is complicated, too: The features of the shell, the lid (operculum) and the rasp tongue (radula) must be recorded and compared. Nowadays, the DNA is analysed as well. Aquarium fish keepers, though, are usually satisfied if the animals are colourful and not too difficult to care for!

You can find a list of Dr. von Rintelen's scientific work at: http://www.naturkundemuseum-berlin.de/institution/mitarbeiter/von-rintelen-thomas.html

© 07.06.2011 JBL GmbH & Co. KG

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