Thursday, June 19, 2014

So long, and thanks for all the shellfish

This Monday I learned, to my great dismay and regret, that on Sunday June 22 the National Zoo is closing its Invertebrate House, the only part of the zoo that highlighted the species representing 97% of all animal life and an incredible, awe-inspiring diversity of shapes, life cycles, and behaviors.

For more on the closing, you can read Gwen Pearson’s excellent post on

There’s nothing really to do about it except be sorry. I myself think it’s a tremendous shame that we’ve lost not just beautiful and fascinating animals but, through them, the chance to introduce the public to the enormous variation and value of species that many people don’t even realize exist.

So in preparation for the closing this weekend, in celebration of the Invertebrate House and its denizens, I’m posting a few more pictures of these astounding animals. Enjoy.

[cuttlefish; they can change their skin's texture in less than a second:]

[brittle star (related to starfish and sea urchins):]


[sea anemones:]

[cleaner(?) shrimp on a cnidarian (maybe a soft coral?):]

[tube worm:]

[sea urchin:]

[soft coral or sea anemone:]

[mantis shrimp:]

Goodbye, all...

{A note: I do write all text and take all pictures. Please do not reproduce either without my permission.}


biobabbler said...

Oh, man. SUCH a gigantic bummer.

I don't really know what to say, except thank YOU for photographing and sharing your fabulous images of these amazing animals.


Olivia V. Ambrogio said...

It was a pleasure to take the photos--part of what makes me so sad, of course. But I guess we can just hope that there will be more, other ways for all of us to learn about and appreciate the majority of animal life...

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