Friday, January 16, 2009

A call for mussels

In terms of the number of described species, mollusks make up the second largest phylum in biology. Local malacologist Kenin Czaja, who is headquartered in the neighborhood of Peabody Square, is making a special study of American freshwater mussels and he needs help collecting specimens.

Specifically, he is looking for 'lightly used' freshwater mussels shells. Complete pairs only. He is apparently scrutinizing the relationships between both halves of these bivalves. He is willing to pay a reasonable bounty for collected freshwater mussel shells, not live specimens, and will also pay the cost of shipping. Size doesn't matter. This scientist is examining his subject at all stages of development from infancy to old age. He does ask that shells not be broken, though whatever unavoidable, minor wear-and-tear the mussels have undergone over their lifetimes is understandable and of interest to him.

We do not publish his contact information here for fear he may be inundated with cranks, but those who are serious and who happen to come across freshwater mussels in their travels are encouraged to read the specifics of Mr. Czaja's needs by clicking here and scrolling down about a half a screen.

Many interests are pursued in Dorchester to broaden the scope of human knowledge in every field imaginable. Many hands make light work. We hope that Mr. Czaja will make some great discovery along that ever-stretching road that some people call 'Progress' and other people call 'Dot Ave.'

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