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 (46 Posts)

Alex Warneke currently resides as a graduate student at San Diego State University. As a chemical ecologist, Alex’s research focuses on the effects of heavy metal pollutants on the chemical communication between organisms. In her “free time,” Alex enjoys convincing the public that Ecology is indeed sexy. With that goal, she is a strong proponent of unconventional science communication and extending the broader impacts of her research to the general public using the outlets of film and social media. When she is not busy busting a move in the cold room or filming her next rap video, she can normally be found frolicking through the California kelp forest.

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