Thursday, October 25, 2007

We're not making crab cakes here......

"We have over 300,000 species represented in our collection. Even though most of them are not on display, that doesn't mean that small, unpopular insects are less important scientifically," stated curator Kees Moeliker.

The Rotterdam Natural History Museum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, has appealed publically for anyone to donate just a single crab louse for it's collection, in fear that the species is dying out. They are desperate enough to find a speciman to make this public appeal and promise to keep the donor's name anonymous.

Moeliker stated that he had begun the hunt in earnest for the species, also known as "pubic lice" after reading an article published by british doctors last June. The article, titled "Did the Brazilian kill the pubic louse", hypothesized that bikini waxing was the cause of the drop in infections in women recently and soon afterwards, with men.

Pubic lice can't live without pubic hair stated Moeliker and he does believe the study has a basis in fact. They are also not a reportable STD so there is very little information as to whether the species actually is in decline. Moeliker doesn't want to wait until there is definate proof that it is in decline before adding them to the collection at the museum.

He likens it to the plight of the house sparrow, twenty years ago, no one thought to add one to the collection because they were plentiful. Now they are on the threatened list and near impossible to find in the Netherlands.

I do understand the need to preserve at least one copy of each species before they vanish but "crabs"? I would think that there has to be someone who is willing to mail the museum each and everyone of the little beasts they are infested with, just to get rid of them.

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