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Grace Thomas invertebrate Collections

Welcome to the Grace Thomas Invertebrate Collections

The Grace Thomas Invertebrate Collections include over 10,000 freshwater mussels, a tremendous amount of diversity from Gray's Reef, and a growing number of catalogued (non-insect) invertebrates. We hold one of the largest collections of corals in North America - these, and many more of our holdings, will be added to this catalogue soon! Many of the specimens in the Grace Thomas Invertebrate Collections are extinct, endangered, or threatened - fortunately many newer specimens are accessible for genomic work.

At right are shells of the freshwater mussel Anodonta cataracta, originally identified as Pyganodon cataracta in 1990. We are able to partner with many regional scientists to help maintain the most recent taxonomy in our collections. One of the goals of improving access and accuracy to these collections is understanding how biodiversity is distributed through space and time. As an example, the GBIF entry for Anodonta cataracta is linked here and reminds us that these animals, with offspring only distributed through the movement of fish 'infested' with the mussel's larvae, have a very broad distribution - what will we learn from re-examining the shells, genomes, and environmental data associated with these specimens? We hope, quite a lot.

Currently only a few aquatic invertebrate specimens are visible in our Museum Gallery on campus, but this actively-growing online collection will help you see what we are managing and studying. Terrestrial arthropods, including insects, are in the UGA Collection of Arthropods. Please visit the GMNH website for more information about specimen loans or visiting our collections.

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You can search by taxonomic name, collector/curator information, or other metadata here. You can use Boolean search terms, e.g. "Savannah AND Unionidae". If you are interested in our holdings (with geocoordinates) for a particular area, see the map tool below - but, expect a few errors.

Collections of interest:

 

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(Many map locations are approximated from sample collection information and the precision of lat-long should be validated against original collection records. In general we only add to map if sufficient information to place within 10km or less, and the 'zoom' on the map indicates our confidence. As with all databases, expect a few errors and let us know if you see any to be fixed.)

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