The Western New Mexico University Department of Natural Sciences received a gift of preserved fish specimens from Scripps Institution of Oceanography, facilitated by the Scripps curator of fishes, Dr. Philip Hastings.
The 18 jars of rare specimens include those of deep-sea fish species, many of which have long teeth and bioluminescent (or glowing) organs, said Dr. Manda Jost, who teaches ichthyology (fishes) at WNMU.
Hastings has taught ichthyology for decades at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, which houses about two million specimens of over 5,600 species in 120,000 jars. He owns a home in Silver City and reached out to Dr. Jost, who is teaching ichthyology for the first time this semester.
“He offered to donate some specimens from the Scripps fish collection, and the specimens he brought this week include some amazing deep-sea oddities — bizarre species that human eyes rarely get to see,” Dr. Jost said.
Hastings has also committed to help WNMU further flesh-out its fish specimen collection in the future.