Finding Shells of Digital Information onlineReturn
TELDAP e-Newsletter (October, 2012)
Finding Shells of Digital Information online
A few years ago, I visited Taipei’s Shisanhang Museum of Archaeology and was deeply impressed by the ruins of the shell heap that had been dug up and imagined that the shellfish, in the primitive man’s life, was a common dish; and that they used their feet on the beach or in the shallow water to search for shells and when feeling one immediately picking it up. Water is added to the shellfish as it is put in a clay pot, and a fire is lit to cook it as it is put on a stone with supports. Bivalves—such as clams—will open when cooked so they are easy to eat, and if it has a spiral shell, a concaved rock is used to smash it open so the meat can be eaten.
In addition to being used as a source of food, the shellfish are widely used in clothing, decorations, and architecture, and—anciently—even as currency. This shows its closeness and connection to human life. Taiwan’s coastal terrain is quite diverse, from the sandy, muddy, or rocky shores to the wonderful landscape of the coral reef area; from the intertidal shoals, lagoons, and continental shelf to the steep and deep eastern sea trenches; these have all given birth over 3,500 kinds of shellfish.
In recent years, environmental damage has caused a sharp decline in the quantity and species of shellfish. In order to preserve and research these shellfish and to promote and apply this information, researchers at the Institute of Zoology, Academia Sinica built a Taiwan Malacofauna Database (http://shell.sinica.edu.tw/), opening their years of records, published academic books and papers on shellfish, and literature and results of specimen collections of shellfish. The database contains a comprehensive list of Taiwanese shellfish including their English scientific names, origin, distribution, morphological characteristics, literature references, and species information (such as habitat, resources, and related information). Digitized versions of the specimen information in the Herbarium Collection and related specimen images are also available.
Taiwan Malacofauna Database currently has 272 families of 3,651 species of shellfish, comprises Taiwan Malacofauna, list of shell specimen from Taiwan, Taiwan shell heaps, shell fossil, artifacts made of shells, geographical distribution information, literature on shells, list of new shell species and newly recorded species, Chinese characters with “shell”, common seashells in the world, radula and ultrastructure of shells, and other databases, to provide information on morphology, habitat, distribution, and locations. Its purpose is to allow users to understand the diversity of shellfish in Taiwan and be able to quickly look up related information on them. To enhance teaching of natural biology in Taiwan, research, advocacy, information management, wildlife conservation, and even the utilization and planning of our country’s land.
Taiwan’s famous snack “oyster omelets” have amazed so many foreigners. Besides being in foods, shells are found in the decorations on many of Taiwan’s aboriginal costumes. Many places in Taiwan are named with shells, such as Oyster Hut, Cockle Hut, and Clam Hut. Shell culture closely knitted to every aspect of daily life. Through the Taiwan Malacofauna Database we can explore the wonder and mysteries of shells from the compilation of information from biology to culture.
Publisher：Fan-Sen Wang, Vice President of Academia Sinica Editor-in-Chief：Zong-Kun Li Publishing Department：Taiwan e-Learning and Digital Archives Program, TELDAP Executive Editor：Sub-project: Digital Information - the New and Creative Way of Communicating Mailing Address：The Institute of History and Philology, Academia Sinica
No.130, Sec. 2, Academia Rd., Nangang District, Taipei City 115, Taiwan TEL： (02) 27829555 ext:310 or 183 FAX： (02) 2786-8834 E-mail：firstname.lastname@example.org
Issue：TELDAP e-Newsletter (October, 2012) Publish Date：10/15 /2012 First Issue：02/15 /2007（Published on 15th every 2 months）
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