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We are now well underway with our great bunch of new volunteers working on this biggest ever investigation into Bryozoans inhabiting the coast of the British Isles.
The first week was mainly taken up with sorting out IDs, pass cards, passwords etc. as well as familiarisation about health and safety, how the museum operates and an introduction to Bryozoans from curator Mary.
The second week was what we are all here for, during the morning we were shown how best to handle and deal with the scallop specimens and taught the skills to collect the information in a professional way.
In the afternoon the volunteers paired up then set about measuring each shell and noting the dimensions, following that both sides of the shell are minutely scrutinised for signs that life had been present. It was fascinating to see things such as baby oysters, worms and other things including Bryozoans, when viewed beneath a binocular microscope the images really stood out and I was surprised to see interesting colours which were not apparent to the naked eye.
I am really looking forward to the year 2 and year 3 batches which should have even more diverse life signs, we have been told by Mary that there are still many new species of Bryozoan to discover, maybe one of us could get lucky and have it named after us.