Mollusk Collections at the Ohio State University Museum of Zoology,
OHIO STATE UNIV COLUMBUS
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In the early and middle 1800s a gentleman named Henry Moores collected mollusks in central Ohio. Henry Moores collection was eventually purchased by The Ohio State University, where it became the nucleus of the Universitys first Museum of Zoology in the late 1800s. In the early 1960s we found both a challenge and an education in cleaning the shells that had been collected a century earlier. In the process, we could not help but observe how different these specimens were from those being currently collected. Growth rates were, for example, frequently much greater in the 1960s than a century earlier. We related this to the increased use of fertilizers, but objective evidence is lacking. The Henry Moores collections now form a relatively small part of the extensive collections of bivalve and gastropod mollusks at The Ohio State University Museum of Zoology. Over the past two decades these collections have grown at a remarkable rate. Our unionid and pleurocerid collections are among the largest in existence. We have built unusually extensive collections of soft parts of these mollusks. The many large series of specimens have a high degree of statistical significance, making them especially valuable for research involving variation within and between populations. We have over 50,000 lots of unionids alone, which may be larger than any other recent collection of these animals in the United States.