The Houston Museum of Natural Science was founded in 1909 – meaning that the curators of the Houston Museum of Natural Science have been collecting and preserving natural and cultural treasures for a hundred years now. For this yearlong series, our current curators have chosen one hundred exceptional objects from the Museum’s immense storehouse of specimens and artifacts—one for each year of our history. Check back here frequently to learn more about this diverse selection of behind-the-scenes curiosities—we will post the image and description of a new object every few days.
This description is from Tina, the museum’s associate curator of malacology. She has chosen a selection of objects that represent the most fascinating shells and animals in the Museum’s collections, that we’ll be sharing here – and at 100.hmns.org– throughout the year.
Conus saurus – Garcia, 2007
This scientifically important specimen is the holotype of its species. In other words, it is the specimen which provides the validation for the description of a separate species. It is part of a huge study, undertaken during the 1960’s in the Gulf of Mexico off the Texas and Louisiana coasts, known as “The Northwest Gulf Coast Survey” which is housed here at HMNS. This species was unknown until researchers recognized differences among groups of related “cones” and isolated and described it as a new species.