This Homepage contains lots of information on Philippine animals and Philippine diving.
The diving experiences here expressed and found next to each dive (in VIEW) are stricly personal and should be used as a guide only. POPPE-IMAGES or the authors Guido and Philippe Poppe or members of Conchology, Inc. are not responsible for any acts and/or accidents by diving in the Philippines, or in and around mentioned places.
The determinations of the animals shown are based mainly on literature which is NOT scientific. While they can be used as a guide, they should not be considered scientific, except for the ones in Gastropods (excluding nudibranches) and Bivalvia.
Read More on this subject here.
We are, taxonomically speaking, in an important time zone:
Since a few years, scientists realise that the living things on the planet are much more vast than ever dreamed of. Technological advances bring to light thousands of new species every year.
Informatics combined with the worldwide web and digital photography are a triple technical revolution which changes the taxonomical and nomenclatural world drastically.
Poppe-Images is a small example today of the possibilities of this technical revolution: it uses extensively database technology combined with google-earth technology and digital photography. A few filosophical considerations are not misplaced here.
It is obvious that especially since World War II humanity gave up taxonomy and its daughter science nomenclature.
Reasons for this were multiple, often justified but more often misplaced.
Today this results in a dramatic situation where literature, even much of the literature of vulgarisation, is either unobtainable or incorrect in many ways.
Read more on the subject in
Tursch & Greifeneder (2001) Olive Shells, the genus Oliva and the Species problem.
The formation of a good taxonomist is a combination of many factors. Apart from a natural gift, extensive knowledge on his/her specialisation is a necessity. This knowledge is scattered in a few museums and a few sparse libraries, often difficult of access. As a consequence it takes many years to get this literature together, let alone study it.
The biologist specialising in taxonomy needs field study in most cases, in order to get an understanding of the animals he is studying. And field study requires the application of many disciplines. As an example, in marine biology it often means manoeuvring boats, diving, repairing motors, surviving in circumstances where one dreams of a one star hotel.
A good base in history and in the history of his specialisation is a must to understand the writings and often lives - of his fellow biologists involved with his specialisation.
An advanced knowledge of geography and paleontology are important in most cases.
Nomenclatural background is a necessity.
As a result, "taxonomist" is a profession that requires a long formation, most often a formation longer than a decade, to have satisfactory results. Open mind and alternative thinking go in pair with taxonomy & qualities becoming rare due to permanent indoctrination by the media and decadent thinking for major parts of the world population.
The length and endurance to become a taxonomist is one of the reasons that there is a big lack of expertise today for most branches in zoology.
Biologist who are willing to do taxonomic and nomenclatural work often don't get the chances. Visiting museums, libraries and institutions all over the world, I got repeatedly the impression to deal with good carpenters without hammers.
It is good that the technological revolution of today points out the necessity to give the financial means to biologists to do their job. So that humanity knows "what is living where today".
Too many laboratories have been working for years on animals we don't even know which ones today. Hundreds of thousands pages have been written down without signifcance: most of the not illustrated faunal listings are worthless without a good iconography.
Scientists often use the argument that one needs the animal to properly identify the species. While this is justified in many cases, in many others it is an excuse to hide part of the failure of the system today.
Sea squirts, polyclads or nudibranches (to name a few) have in most cases a color pattern and shape that allows direct identification and even description. However, in the case of sea squirts, the existing literature is almost integrally in black and white and there is no visual link between the existing animals and the scientific literature.
The decades of monastery work on animals preserved in alcohol - with no relation of what one sees on the sea bottom - resulted in virtually nothing practical.
The big confusion in the scientific literature has its direct impact on the vulgarisation, the only literature readily available to the diver or nature-lover.
And readily available to the people working on Poppe-Images (except for mollusca where we dispose of over 125 m of book shelves).
We sincerely hope that governments and institutions see the necessity today of giving not only primitive hammers and sews to the biological world. With adequate financial means and the technology of today, biologists can in a reasonable laps of time inventory what is living today on the planet. An inventory which will form the base for the multiple applications that nature reserves for humanity.
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While a degree of correctness is our goal, no scientist can claim to know all about all animals. The confusion in popular literature is big and reflected in the determinations made here in Poppe-Images.
We look for collaboration for determinations, please contact us if expert in one or another field, or for flagrant mistakes.
In LAB we show photographs that cannot be taken in nature, or photographs that reveal details of animals which cannot be seen when photographed in their habitat. It concerns among others as a set of photographs taken during the Panglao Marine Biodiversity Project 2004, of which the copyright is shared between the Musuem National de Histoire Naturelle, Paris and Conchology, Inc.
But the majority of images in LAB to come will concern animals living too deep for safe diving or too small for conventional photography.
© 1996 - 2016 Guido T. Poppe & Philippe Poppe - Conchology, Inc.