[Histonet] Razor Clams

Philip Oshel peoshel <@t> wisc.edu
Wed Mar 2 16:05:06 CST 2005


Look for publications by Kent Gilkinson (I think I spelled that 
right), probably Gilkinson & Steele, and Gilkinson, K. G., J. A. 
Hutchings, P. E. Oshel, & R. L. Haedrich. 1986. Shell microstructure 
and observations on internal banding patterns in the bivalves Yoldia 
thraciaeformis Storer 1838 and Nuculana pernula  Muller 1779 
(Nuculanidae) from a deep-sea environment.  Veliger 29(1):70-77. I 
give this last ref only because I have the reference handy.

The better references will be Gilkinson or Gilkinson & Steele. Kent 
did an aging study in blue mussels from the Labrador Strait. The 
basic method is to make two radial saw cuts from the prochonch (? 
correct? I forget) to the mantle edge, polish one side, glue it to a 
rock-section slide, then finely polish the other side, polishing 
until the shell section is thin enough to allow light through. The 
growth bands are then easily visible, even tightly packed ones like 
those of very Old mussels from cold waters.


>Hello Histonetters,
>I have a researcher that is ageing (aging) Razor Clams and would like to
>better differentiate the conchiolin, a keratin like substance, versus the
>calcium carbonate of the shell.  The growth rings consist of alternating
>bands of calcium carbonate and conchiolin ( as far as I can find out
>conchiolin is keratin "like").  A smooth facet of the shell is produced
>after a diamond saw is used to slice it in two.   The growth bands are in
>the smooth facet but difficult to see. 
>The bands in older animals are very close together and very difficult to
>see.  Does anyone have any suggestions re: stains or procedures that might
>help better differentiate the bands? 
>Thanks in advance for any help.
>Bill Bennett
>Fisheries and Oceans Canada
>Pacific Biological Station
>Nanaimo, B.C.

Philip Oshel
Supervisor, BBPIC microscopy facility
Department of Animal Sciences
University of Wisconsin
1675 Observatory Drive
Madison,  WI  53706
voice: (608) 263-4162
fax: (608) 262-5157 (dept. fax)

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