NANFA-- Destructive Analysis

Jeffrey Fullerton (
Sun, 12 Jan 2003 23:48:19 -0500

> Date: Sat, 11 Jan 2003 11:33:41 -0600
> From: "R. W. Wolff"
> Subject: Re: NANFA-- Maryland darter
> > species may have been "collected to death." It has not been seen since the
> Isn't this the fish that was "collected to death" by (a) researcher(s), I
> seem to remember something like 300 specimans just to see what they ate?
I read of a similar thing happening with a population of spotted turtles
once. Probably happend quite a bit in days of old when it was not
unknown for huge numbers of voucher specimens to be collected from
single locations.

The advent of less destructive techniques like gastric lavage to sample
stomach contents has made it possible to study the dietary habits of
turtles and other herps without cutting them up. I found this in
Whittfeild Gibbons "Their Blood Runs Cold" - which also mentions the use
of X-rays to count eggs in gravid female sliders and cooters.

Not sure how if this could work for fish so I am inclined to agree with
others that studying closely related "surrogate" species is a good
aproach to gaining info- though captive breeding can also produce
surplus specimens for "destructive analysis" as well as a backup

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