142/150: A small creature with a long history


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Animalia: Arthropoda: Ostracoda: Podocopida: Cyprididae: Cypridopsinae: Cypridopsis vidua (O. F. Müller, 1776)

The Ostracods are an ancient crustacean that has been around for over 50 million years! Of the nearly 70,000 species described, only 13,000 are alive today, all others being discovered as fossils. Many ostracods have found use in the field of biostratigraphy – a technique used to estimate the relative age of rock based on the type of fossils it contains.

Ostracods vary in size from 0.2 mm – 30 mm and are protected by a chitinous shell that resembles that of a mussel. While mostly found in marine water, more and more are being discovered in fresh water environments – around 2000 species in 2008 alone. The largest family of non-marine ostracods is the Cyprididae. Members of this family, such as Cypridopsis vidua have drought resistant eggs, as well as the ability to reproduce both sexually and asexually.

Some ostracods are bioluminescent. This property was useful to the Japanese army during World War II as they could be collected in jars and used as lights. The light produced was bright enough that they could to do things such as read maps while still being dark enough that their position would remain uncompromised. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen 11AlgonqNJ0059 – Coon Lake, Algonquin Provincial Park, Ontario, Canada – 26-Jun-2011 Photo Credit: CBG Photography Group, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Scanning electron image of Cypridopsis vidua. Photo Credit: Paulo Corgosinho goo.gl/UaC8LN
Dorsal view of Cypridopsis vidua. Photo Credit: Markus Lindholm, Anders Hobæk/Norsk institutt for vassforsking goo.gl/iUCNP8
Fossil of a large ostracod from the Silurian Soeginina Beds of Saaremaa Island, Estonia. Photo Credit: Mark A. Wilson goo.gl/1VCJnA

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: COAPP059-12

nucleotide sequence

CACTTTATATTTAATTTTTGGTGCTTGATCTGCTATATCAGGAACAGCTTTAAGAGTAATTATCCGAGCAGAGCTTGGGCAACCTGGAACATTAATTGGGAATGATCAAATTTATAATAGAATTGTTACTGCCCATGCATTTATTATGATTTTTTTTATAGTAATACCAATCATAATCGGAGGTTTTGGAAATTGATTAGTGCCTTTAATACTAGGGGCACCAGATATAGCATTCCCTCGAATAAATAATATAAGATTTTGGTTACTTCCCCCATCTTTATCCTTATTAACAATTGGGATACTCACAGAAAGAGGGGCAGGAACAGGATGAACAGTTTATCCCCCTCTGTCAAGAAACATCTCTCATGCTGGTGCTAGGGTAGACCTAACAATTTTCTCTCTACACCTAGCCGGGGCCTCATCGATTTTAGGGGCCATTAACTTCATTACTACTATTATTAATATACGAACGGCTAAAATATCTCTTGACCGAATTCCTTTATTTGTGTGGTCTGTTGGGATTACTGCTCTTCTTTTACTTTTATCCTTACCTGTTCTTGCAGGTGCAATCACTATGCTATTGACTGATCGAAACTTAAATACAACATTCTTTGACCCGGCAGGGGGTGGAGATCCTATTCTATACCAACATTTATTC

amino acid sequence

TLYLIFGAWSAMSGTALSVIIRAELGQPGTLIGNDQIYNSIVTAHAFIMIFFMVMPIMIGGFGNWLVPLMLGAPDMAFPRMNNMSFWLLPPSLSLLTIGMLTESGAGTGWTVYPPLSSNISHAGASVDLTIFSLHLAGASSILGAINFITTIINMRTAKMSLDRIPLFVWSVGITALLLLLSLPVLAGAITMLLTDRNLNTTFFDPAGGGDPILYQHLF

Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Ostracod

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAH0892

139/150: The Longnose Gar – Freaky Fish!


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Animalia: Chordata: Actinopterygii: Lepisosteiformes: Lepisosteidae: Lepisosteus: Lepisosteus osseus (Linnaeus, 1758)

The longnose gar can be found along the east coast of North and Central America.  It resides in freshwater lakes where there is plenty of vegetation, trees and stone outcrops.  The species is defined by its long snout, sharp teeth, elongated body and earthy colours of brown and white along its sides.  Longnose gar eat almost anything, ranging from other fishes, small insects to a variety of crustaceans. Longnose gars are survivors, this species has persisted over 100 million years and they can tolerate oxygen poor environments. Historically, these fish were caught to serve as a food source for settlers.  Today, the species continues to be fished but mostly for sport fishing as trophy pieces. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen BCF-0012-2 – Fleuve St-Laurent, Quebec – 25-Sep-2005. Photo Credit: Royal Ontario Museum
Longnose gar in an aquarium. Photo Credit: Mat1583 goo.gl/ZX6jer

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: BCF181-07

nucleotide sequence

CCTTTATATAGTATTTGGTGCCTGAGCCGGAATAGTCGGAACCGCCCTGAGCCTCTTAATTCGAGCAGAACTAAGTCAGCCTGGAACCCTCCTTGGGGATGACCAAATTTATAATGTTATCGTTACAGCGCATGCTTTCGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATACCAGTTATAATCGGAGGATTTGGCAACTGGCTTGTGCCTCTAATAATCGGCGCCCCTGACATAGCCTTCCCCCGAATAAACAATATAAGCTTCTGACTTCTCCCACCTTCATTTCTTCTACTCCTAGCCTCATCAGGAATTGAAGCAGGGGCCGGAACAGGATGAACAGTCTATCCACCCCTGGCTAGCAATCTCGCACACGCAGGAGCATCAGTTGATCTAACCATTTTCTCCCTTCACTTAGCCGGTATTTCATCAATTCTAGGTGCCATCAATTTTATTACAACAATCCTAAACATGAAGCCACCAGCAGCTTCTCAATACCAAACGCCTCTATTTGTCTGATCTGTCTTAATTACTGCAGTCTTACTATTGCTCTCCCTGCCAGTCCTAGCCGCAGGTATTACGATACTATTAACAGACCGAAACCTTAATACCACCTTCTTTGATCCCGCAGGAGGAGGGGACCCCATTCTCTATCAACACTTA

amino acid sequence

LYMVFGAWAGMVGTALSLLIRAELSQPGTLLGDDQIYNVIVTAHAFVMIFFMVMPVMIGGFGNWLVPLMIGAPDMAFPRMNNMSFWLLPPSFLLLLASSGIEAGAGTGWTVYPPLASNLAHAGASVDLTIFSLHLAGISSILGAINFITTILNMKPPAASQYQTPLFVWSVLITAVLLLLSLPVLAAGITMLLTDRNLNTTFFDPAGGGDPILYQHL

Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Longnose gar

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAC8692

80/150: No stone unturned!


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Animalia: Arthropoda: Hexapoda: Insecta: Plecoptera: Perloidea: Perlidae: Acroneuria: Acroneuria abnormis (Newman, 1838)

Stoneflies are insects that can be found worldwide (other than Antarctica) with 3,500 species known globally and many more being discovered! Stoneflies are known for being extremely vulnerable to pollution thus the presence of these insects are a great sign of clean water habitats. Continue reading “80/150: No stone unturned!”

77/150: Mapleleaf Mussel – Important environmental indicators of Canadian Rivers and Lakes


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Animalia: Mollusca: Bivalvia: Unionoida: Unionidae: Ambleminae: Quadrula: Quadrula quadrula (Rafinesque, 1820)

The Mapleleaf mussel is a freshwater mussel found in North America. Mapleleaf mussels are a threatened species in Ontario since 2008 and have completely disappeared from Lake Erie, Detroit and Niagara rivers. The main threats to this species are habitat destruction, invasive Zebra mussels from Europe and any conditions which threaten their host fish, the Channel Catfish. Continue reading “77/150: Mapleleaf Mussel – Important environmental indicators of Canadian Rivers and Lakes”

37/150: The real-life Cyclops


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animalia: Arthropoda: Maxillopoda: Cyclopoida: Cyclopidae: Cyclops

Though the name might seem fitting for a monster, Cyclops is a small copepod that happens to share the same body characteristic of a single large eye on its head region with the mythological giant. Continue reading “37/150: The real-life Cyclops”

30/150: Hail Hydra! The immortal cnidarian


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animalia: Cnidaria: Hydrozoa: Anthoathecata: Hydridae: Hydra: Hydra canadensis (Rowan, 1930)

From Marvel movies to Greek mythology, ‘Hydra’ is a familiar word referring to a many headed monster that can regenerate heads for every one cut off. It sounds far-fetched, but in fact, is exactly what the freshwater cnidarian can do. Hydra is a genus containing tubular radially symmetric organisms that are a maximum of 1 cm long. Their tentacles contain the same stinging cells (or cnidocytes) found in anemones and jellyfish, that can fire bursts of neurotoxin when triggered by prey. If Hydra are attacked they can recoil into a small gelatinous sphere to protect themselves. Hydra can reproduce both sexually and asexually, depending on environmental conditions like food abundance. Hydra have a remarkable ability to regenerate after they’ve been injured, growing new feet from head fragments, and vice versa, thanks to their bodies being composed mostly of stem cells. They also appear to be immortal; showing no signs of deteriorating with age under idealistic conditions. Definitely cool! #HailHydra #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen 08BBCNI-0002 – Waterton Lakes National Park – 8-Aug-2008 – Free Hand. Photo Credit: Alison Forde, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Image of a live Hydra (Hydra vulgaris). Photo Credit: Proyecto Agua goo.gl/qusius

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID:  SAHYD001-10

nucleotide sequence

AACTTTATATATAATCTTTGGAGCTTTTTCTGGAATGATAGGCACTGCTTTAAGTATGTTAATTAGAATTGAACTTTCAGCACCTGGTAGAATAATAGGAGATGATCATCTATATAACGTTATAGTAACAGCTCATGCTTTTGTCATGATATTTTTTTTAGTAATGCCAGTCTTGATAGGAGGCTATGGGAACTGATTTGTTCCTATTTATATAGGAGCACCGGATATGGCTTTCCCTAGACTTAATAACCTAAGTTTTTGATTACTCCCCCCCGCATTAATCCTGCTTTTAACTTCTTCTCTAGTAGAACAAGGAGCTGGAACAGGATGGACTGTCTACCCACCTTTATCTGGTCCATTAGCTCATTCAGGAGGGTCTGTTGATTTAGCTATTTTTAGTTTACATTGTGCTGGTTTTTCTTCTATTGCAGGAGCTATAAATTTTATAACAACTATTTTCAATATGAGAACACCGGGTTTAACATTTGATAAACTTCCTCTATTTGTCTGATCAGTATTAATTACNNCATTTTTATTATTATTGTCTTTGCCTGTTTTAGCAGGAGCAATAACTATGCTTTTAACCGATAGAAATTTTAATACTACTTTTTTTGATCCTGCTGGAGGGGGTGATCCTGTATTATATCAACATTTATTT

amino acid sequence

TLYIIFGAFSGMIGTALSMLIRIELSAPGRIIGDDHLYNVIVTAHAFVMIFFLVMPVLIGGYGNWFVPIYIGAPDMAFPRLNNLSFWLLPPALILLLTSSLVEQGAGTGWTVYPPLSGPLAHSGGSVDLAIFSLHCAGFSSIAGAINFITTIFNMRTPGLTFDKLPLFVWSVLIXXFLLLLSLPVLAGAITMLLTDRNFNTTFFDPAGGGDPVLYQHLF

Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Hydra canadensis

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAN4537

Title Image: Specimen 08BBCNI-0001 – Waterton Lakes National Park – 8-Aug-2008 – Free Hand
Photo Credit: Alison Forde, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics

27/150: The small priceless gems of freshwater ecosystems


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Animalia: Arthropoda: Malacostraca: Amphipoda: Hyalellidae: Hyalella: Hyalella azteca (Saussure, 1858)

Amphipods are common crustaceans that are found in freshwater bodies such as lakes and rivers and Hyalella azteca is one of the most abundant in North America. Due to their small size, these animals mainly feed on diatoms, algae and organic detritus. Continue reading “27/150: The small priceless gems of freshwater ecosystems”

23/150: And you thought only vertebrates breathe with lungs? Meet the Arctic Pond Snail


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Animalia: Mollusca: Gastropoda: Hygrophila: Lymnaeidae: Stagnicola: Stagnicola arctica (Lea, 1864)

The Arctic Pond Snail (Stagnicola arctica) is a freshwater gastropod belonging to the family Lymnaeidae. This species occurs across northern Canada from Labrador to the Yukon Territory and are typically found in lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, ditches and muskeg pools. Continue reading “23/150: And you thought only vertebrates breathe with lungs? Meet the Arctic Pond Snail”

9/150: Fairly Shore it’s a Fairy Shrimp


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Animalia: Arthropoda: Branchiopoda : Anostraca: Branchinectida: Branchinecta: Branchinecta paludosa (O. F. Müller, 1788)

Branchinecta paludosa is a species of fairy shrimp found almost everywhere in the northern hemisphere, and one of the only four species of fairy shrimp that are freshwater inhabitants. Most species in the fairy shrimp group have several pairs of swimming legs, which they utilize to swim upside-down, and they tend to live in pools without fish! Continue reading “9/150: Fairly Shore it’s a Fairy Shrimp”

Flexin’ My Mussels and Saying Bye to BIO


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Last month Dan, Danielle and I trekked down to Chatham, Ontario to collect some samples for the freshwater mussel project that I’ve been working on for the last year. We collaborated with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans as they were working on monitoring the mussel populations for their projects and were able to help us find and ID the mussels. Continue reading “Flexin’ My Mussels and Saying Bye to BIO”