The Quarterly Biology Glass Display
The fan mussel (Pinna nobilis) is a renowned member of clams, endemic to the Mediterranean Sea. Four decades ago, it very nearly became extinct in the Adriatic Sea, due to it being hunted for food, sport, decoration and even for its alleged valuable pearls. After it was assigned a protected status, it recovered remarkably. At one point, the population size increased to such an extent that it had to be moved away from beaches frequented by swimmers to other more remote places. In recent years, it has been attacked by a parasite (Happlosporidium pinnae). Population across the entire Mediterranean Sea have been completely wiped out, including fan mussels living in the Slovenian sea, which were killed off by the infection in 2020. Additionally, due to climate change and changes in sea transportation routes, another related species, the spiny fan mussel (Pinna rudis), has been spreading in the Mediterranean Sea in the last decade. Its presence in the Adriatic was only confirmed three years ago.
Curators of the exhibition: Tea Knapič, Dr Tomi Trilar, Dr Miha Jeršek
Authors of the exhibition: Tea Knapič, Dr Miha Jeršek, Matija Križnar, MSc, David Kunc, Dr Tomi Trilar, Dr Al Vrezec and Jernej Uhan
Photography: Boris Bulić, Dr Miha Jeršek, Ciril Mlinar Cic, Tea Knapič, David Kunc, Dr Tomi Trilar, Wikipedia
Photo of the seabed: Ciril Mlinar Cic
Billboard design: David Kunc
Most exhibits are part of the Natural History Museum of Slovenia collections. Some were borrowed from Dr Miha Jeršek’s and Dr Al Vrezec’s private collections.
The spiny fan mussel specimen is from the collection of the Piran Museum of Shells and Snails.
Materials were collected with the help of our colleagues at the Piran Aquarium.
Proofreading and translation: Henrik Ciglič
Video: Ciril Mlinar Cic
Billboard printing: Foto format doo
Technical installation of the exhibition: Technical staff at the Museum of Natural History of Slovenia