Femorale - +25 Years
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Tony McCleery Collection
 

Tony
Tony was born in North Ireland and worked in tapestry industry for several years. After he retired he began sailing and moved to New Zealand where his wife and daughter stay most of the time when they are not traveling with Tony. Tony's boat has everything he needs to sail for several weeks, including a desalination system to make fresh water. He has GPS computerized pilot, sonar, and many gadgets to sail in safety. But the most important: lots of shelling gear, including a dredge, a pump to fill tanks, equipment for taking and processing pictures, internet and much more. He has several types of dredges, from heavy and coarse mesh to fine and light ones, all can be pulled easily using his winch which has 1.5 km of cable (thin but very strong). Tony collects everything but is specialized on Marginellas, he is doing a very deep study on this family in a way I don't know anyone else is doing on any other family. He is taking pictures of live animals, radula and shells, all information is stored in a database. He also prints plates with new acquisitions from his printer and stores them in folders. He sends backup to his friend Andrew Wakefield who is helping him on this extensive work.

He uses several methods to collect Marginellas. When he uses the dredge he filters the material using four buckets with different sizes of mesh on the bottom. On the first two larger ones he select quickly the material. On the third one he uses a magnifying glasses. And the thinner one he leaves on a bucket with some water for a few minutes to collect later the minute Marginellas crawling on the edges (1mm or less!). Then, while the shells are alive he takes them to the microscope and takes a picture, making notes on the speed of the animal and any other peculiarities as color, foot, mantle, etc.
After the pictures are done, he extracts the radula and takes its picture. Sometimes, he needs to take pictures of the internal columella folders, which means he has to break the shells and lay them in a way he can photograph it. Easy? We are talking about 1 mm shells!

 

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