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Invertebrates, fossils specimens and minerals.    
 
 
THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM

INVERTEBRATES

Under the window are cases exhibiting rocks of the Silurian, Upper Cambrian and Cambrian geological formations with the fossils found in them, and on the wall a vertical section shows the rock strata of New York State.

A temporary installation, showing skeletons of the sea lion, swordfish and other marine animals, occupies the west wall at this end of this hall of the Brooklyn Museum, and at the left a large group of fur seals from St. Paul's Island in Bering Sea brings the visitor again to the point at which he began a survey of this section of the exhibits.

There yet remain exhibits of minerals here at the Brooklyn Museum, invertebrates and plants in the eastern galleries, and, returning to the entrance to these galleries on the opposite side of the central section, the first corridor (Room 6 on plan) contains the systematic series of minerals.

In the center of the second alcove, an exhibit of ornamental minerals shows polished agates, quartz, azurite and other specimens possessing beauty and value.
The large window group facing the mineral alcove in this corridor shows the Virginia white-tailed deer, the most abundant and most generally distributed of American deer, in a summer woodland scene, and just beyond it a small-scale model, "Woodland Tragedy," represents two deer with inextricably locked antlers, a realistic interpretation of the facts being indicated by the actual pair of skulls with locked antlers shown on the adjacent wall. This fatal ending to an encounter of fighting bucks in the mating season is not uncommon.

Proceeding eastward, the Hall of Invertebrates of the Brooklyn Museum (Room 7 on plan) is next entered, where the sponges and corals, worms, mollusks, crustaceans and other types of animals lacking a backbone (invertebrates) are exhibited.

Among this invertebrates are the sponges and corals, from all parts of the world, are systematically arranged in wall cases on the west, north and south sides of the hall, and in various floor cases special groupings have been made of sponges and corals of particular beauty or interest or of unusual size.

Other invertebrates are specimens of the Protozoa, or one-celled animals, the simplest forms of animal life, are shown in the first floor case on the left (north) side of the hall, by the aid of micro-scopes, and also by enlarged glass models. The sponges are the simplest forms of animals whose bodies consist of more than one cell, for the cells, although arranged in two layers, act each independently. Varieties of lime sponges, glass or silicious sponges and horny sponges are shown, as well as fresh-water, deep-sea and boring sponges, and sponge spicules under the microscope.

Models of coral, showing the anatomy of the polyps and their relation to one another, are seen in the second floor case on the left, which contains also models of the freshwater polyp hydra and other related forms. In the adjacent wall cases, specimens of mushroom, staghorn and brain coral and other forms are shown. A very large specimen of brain coral from the Bahamas and a specimen of staghorn coral, one of the largest pieces of branching coral ever collected, are exhibited in floor cases in the center of the hall.

Among the mural paintings in this hall of the Brooklyn Museum, representing some of the more striking invertebrates as they appear in life, is one depicting a coral reef in a tropical sea, and on the south wall in the center of the hall a large window group shows a coral reef close at hand and the animals that frequent it. Other mural paintings show an octopus at home, the formation of a mangrove swamp and other typical shore scenes of the Atlantic coast. Proceeding down the left side of the hall, the starfish and sea urchin families occupy the next case, and the development and anatomy of starfishes and sea urchins are illustrated by drawings, dissections, models and specimens of various ages. Abnormal specimens and specimens showing regeneration of rays in a starfish also are shown. The various types of sea urchins occupy the eastern side of the case. The worms in the next cases include the serpulid worm of the sea, the horsehair worm and a model enlarged and dissected; the branchiopods, related to both worms and mollusks, are shown here.

Crustaceans, in the next case of invertebrates, are represented by some one hundred species, including the crayfish with an enlarged model of dissection to show the anatomy, and a section of mud from a river bank showing a crayfish group at home, together with crabs, lobsters, shrimps, barnacles, horseshoe crabs and others. In the wall case at this point, the giant spider crab and the locust lobster of Japan, the largest species of living crustaceans, are shown.

The systematic series of shells, which includes characteristic examples of the principal divisions of mollusks and gives a general impression and synopsis of this group of animals at the Brooklyn Museum, is arranged in two floor cases on the right (southern) side of the hall at this (western) end. The largest specimens are in the upper part of the case, and the extensive study collections are arranged systematically in drawers below. Fine specimens of the nautilus and argonaut, representing the higher mollusks, may be seen, also the paper nautilus of Japan; a particularly interesting specimen is the naked mollusk from Naples, which appears to have no shell because the shell is internal.

 

 

 

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