200 Years. 200 Stories. Story 132: “Behind the Scenes ”

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two specimens of the millipede spider conch (Lambis millepeda)

Behind the Scenes

Welcome to Three Weeks Behind the Scenes, a 200 Stories photo essay of rarely seen treasures from the Academy’s collections, research labs, and living exhibits. In the upcoming days, we’ll bring you snapshots of items and animals from the Patrick Center for Environmental Research, our scientific collections, the Archives, the Live Animal Center, and more. Photos by Cora Rivera, a senior from Drexel’s Westphal College of Media Arts & Design.

First up—millipede spider conchs from our Malacology Collection!

The millipede spider conch (Lambis millepeda) belongs to a group of sea snails whose adult shells sport impressive arrays of defensive spines. Spider conchs live throughout the tropical Indian and Pacific oceans, but this species is known mostly from the Philippines. The larger specimen formerly belonged to Dr. Meyer Naide (1907–1995), a prominent Philadelphia physician who, at his home on Spruce Street, built a vast shell collection that was donated to the Academy upon his death.

You can see more amazing items from our collections in our bicentennial exhibit, The Academy at 200: The Nature of Discovery, opening on March 24, 2012. Through an examination of the specimens and accompanying information, you will gain an understanding of why the Academy’s collections are so big, why they are still growing, and how preserving items for study provides crucial knowledge about the natural world.

Photography: Cora Rivera.

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