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Ecology of Plankton (Epoch)

Started by bmathison1972, December 08, 2016, 02:00:06 AM

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Review of the complete set of the Ecology of Plankton by Epoch (2004). As a professional microbiologist, this has long been a 'Holy Grail' set for me, and thanks to Sean Bell I have the set! While I primarily collect arthropods, I do have some plankton/protozoa and some select other invertebrates (flatworm, earthworm).

There are 10 figures, 9 plus one 'secret', and most are unique figures. They come in small jars suspended in a 'goo' of sorts, apparently to simulate museum specimens. Sean had long since removed the goo but I will continue to display them in their jars.

The figures are small, roughly 20-25 mm (just shy of 1 inch) each, along their longest parts. Despite their small size, they are incredibly detailed. Several require assembly! Luckily Sean sent them assembled  ^-^.

On to the figures (images taken out of the jars):

1. Amoeba proteus. Unique as far as 'figures' go, not including the model by EISCO.

2. purple sea urchin, Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (larva). I am not aware of any other urchin figures off-hand, so this figure is unique in several ways. I generally do not collect echinoderms but will retain this figure, at least for now.

3. Leptocinclis acus. [marketed as Euglena acus]
Euglena acus is now in the genus Leptocinclis (although I have to admit, the morphology here does look like the traditional E. gracilis). The small Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. (The Minimum Coexistence: Microbe) figure is also L acus. I also have Euglena gracilis by Kaiyodo (Microcosmos), as well as a model by EISCO labs.

4. Paramecium caudatum. Just like Euglena this ciliate is a staple in the biology curriculum! I have one other figure of this species, by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. (The Minimum Coexistence: Microbe), plus a model by EISCO.

5. moon jellyfish, Aurelia aurita (larva). Again, I am normally not a collector of this taxon so I am not familiar with the moon jellyfish but I am sure it has been done by Kaiyodo at least once (well, the adult at any rate).

6. Vorticella nebulifera. Another familiar ciliate and another unique figure.

7. sea tinkle, Noctiluca scintillans. This is a marine, bioluminescent dinoflagellate, and another unique critter.

8. water flea, Daphnia pulex. The quintessential planktonic critter in toy/figure form, and one of two arthropods in the set. It has been made at least four times before, three times by Kaiyodo (Night Aqua Museum; Microcosmos; Capsule Aquarium 4) and once by Takara Tomy A.R.T.S. (The Minimum Coexistence: Microbe).

9. horseshoe worm, Phoronis sp. (larva), a marine phoronid 'worm'. Phoronids are believed to be linked to branchiopods and mollusks.

10. SECRET, copepod, Cyclops sp. For me, this is the pride of the set. The second arthropod in this set and the only copepod figure I am aware of (although there might be some vintage rubber ones out there). For as long as I have been aware of this set, this is the figure I really wanted. Unlike the other true animals in this set, this copepod (and the Daphnia) represent adults and not larval forms. The larvae of both are also planktonic. There are over 400 species so attributing one to this figure is unlikely.

Family portrait:


Glad you like them! You clearly are more invested and knowledgeable about them than I would ever be, so I'm glad they found a good new home!


Quote from: bmathison1972 on December 08, 2016, 02:00:06 AM
Review of the complete set of the Ecology of Plankton by Epoch (2004). As a professional microbiologist, this has long been a 'Holy Grail' set for me, and thanks to Sean Bell I have the set!

Congratulations, bmathison. After a long search, it is a great joy to finally own your treasure. Very kind of sbell to help you out.
Thank you for posting the great photos of this rare set.


Ah, excellent! 8) Congrats, Blaine, and thanks for posting the photos (although it reminds me what I've been missing)! :)


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I went ahead and re-uploaded these images to Postimage.