TGIF: Well if the glass slipper fits…

Source: Shuttershock

Source: Shuttershock

Now I have seen my fair share of utterly fabulous hermit crab shells, but this specific fashion choice takes the cake. We are talking along the lines of the Jimmy Choos of shells here. (Something I am sure the shoe savvy fashionista herself, Dr. Bik would greatly appreciate.)

Aquarists at the New Zealand Marine Studies Center and Aquarium in Portebello teamed up with University of Otago scientific glass blower Anne Ryan to  create Cinderella-like glass slipper shells for some of the hermit crabs on exhibit.

Source: Thomas Bird (with permission)

Source: Thomas Bird (with permission)

Not only was this a most excellent fusion of art and the sea, but how cool is it that you can see the soft, naked mushy hermit crab abdomens?! Aquarists are hoping to give the general public a “behind the shell” look at the inner crabby workings usually concealed by their less translucent counterparts.

Though the crab shells were the first of their kind to come out of Otago’s glass blowing division, Ryan and her team further support the university with their glass blowing expertise by creating all sorts of custom made scientific glassware . (Um….can we talk about how my school can get a scientific glass blowing department?)

I can only imagine the challenge of making these little glass shells though, cause just like with that Cinderella girl, for the hermit crabs….only the right fit wins.

Source: Thomas Bird

Source: Thomas Bird (with permission)

 

Alex Warneke (112 Posts)

Alex is committed to a life of inspiring others to view science through a more dynamic and empowering lens. Alex obtained her M.Sc. in Chemical Ecology from San Diego State University and most recently resided as a Science Programs Manager and Marine Scientist for the National Park Service. As an ecologist, storyteller, and community engager, she has spanned critical boundaries between stakeholders in education, academia, non-profit, and government to translate the most current scientific bodies of work in ways that are accessible and inclusive. She is a strong proponent of unconventional science communication and extending the broader impacts of science to the public using the outlets of art, digital media, education, and citizen science. Currently, Alex works at the interface of climate resilience and community with the Climate Science Alliance. As Deputy Director for the Alliance, her hope is that through her work and experience she can get the world to think differently about how we connect and impact the thriving ecosystem around us and commit to fostering a more resilient future.


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