Mollusks: Shelled Masters of the Marine Realm
February 18, 2012 - February 28, 2013
Mollusks: Shelled Masters of the Marine Realm, a new exhibition opening February 18, 2012 at Harvard Museum of Natural History, will explore mollusks' amazing diversity and feature recent discoveries about their evolutionary history. Mollusks are amazingly varied in both size and anatomical structure, as well as in their behaviors and habitats. First appearing in the fossil record in the Cambrian period more than 500 million years ago, mollusks include the brainy cephalopods such as octopus and squid; the abundant gastropods, creatures that produce a single shell, such as snails; as well as the numerous bivalves, such as oysters, clams and mussels, that are deliciously edible to humans, and often prized for their shells.
On Thursday February 16, the Mollusks exhibition opening lecture will be presented by Gonzalo Giribet, Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Curator of Invertebrates in the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Giribet will explore how scientists are mapping the Mollusca genetic family tree, to learn how they’ve adapted, survived and thrived since the pre-Cambrian era and to understand their incredibly adaptive and complex biology. The 6 pm lecture will be free and open to the public.