Taxonomists deal with individuals, species, and taxa of organisms, and the natural-history specimens they collect for taxonomic studies are available for posterity. Taxonomic knowledge together with specimens play a unique, valuable role relevant to many fields of science. For example, specimens can contribute to biomimetics, currently an active field of engineering. Taxonomic studies using SEM can disclose the fine surface structure of specimens and clarify its function, and biomimetics can then apply the results to industry. In addition, 3-dimentional digitizing technology provides a new way for making the best use of natural history specimens. A national museum of natural history is crucial for the deposition and study of natural history specimens.
Many natural collections were damaged by the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in the Pacific coast regions of Tohoku District. These collections have not been restored in new places. Under this situation, we strongly feel the necessity of new national museums for management of natural collections in addition with the present National Museum of Nature and Science. A new museum must be equipped by new innovative technology that applies new science field such as biomimetics, and is also expected as a research center of natural history in Japan.
Biomimetics is the innovative paradigm shift based on biodiversity for sustainability. Biodiversity is not only the result of evolutionary adaptation but also the optimized solution of "an epic combinatorial chemistry" for sustainability, because the diversity has been acquired by "biological processes and technology" including "production processes", "operating principles", and "control systems", all of which differ from the "human technology". Biomimetics is an emergent interdisciplinary field of natural history, biology, ecology, mathematics, physics, chemistry, nanotechnology, materials science, mechanical engineering, architecture, economics, and sociology. The comprehensive "translational research" combining various fields of science and technology is indispensable to open the new paradigm based on "biological diversity" and "human wisdom". An enormous amount of inventory of taxonomy is a "vast expanse of ocean" of the knowledge for biomimetics. Biodiversity means a large diversity of engineering and technology. Recent progress of the information science can transform the knowledge of natural history into the information of engineering and technology.
Biomimetics is a new research area that creates innovation through the collaboration of different existing research fields. Since biomimetics brings together expert researchers with deep knowledge of various research fields, there is a need to facilitate the mutual exchange of that knowledge in order to create new research areas. However, this exchange is difficult due to several reasons, e.g., differences in technical terms between different fields. In order to overcome this problem, we started the development of a new data retrieval platform based on the theory of associative image retrieval. A biological database contains many image data, and by taking advantage of these image data, we are able to overcome limitations of text-only information retrieval. If the development of such a retrieval platform that does not depend on text data can be realized, individual biological databases of various species (insects, fish, etc.) will be integrated. This will allow not only the use for the study of the various species by researchers in different biological fields, but also access for a wide range of researchers in fields ranging from materials science, mechanical engineering and manufacturing.
Diverse aquatic organisms are living in the immediate freshwater environments such as the rice field, pond and ditch. This study reports a freshwater ostracod fauna of rice field and spring from Fuji and Fujinomiya, Japan. We found 14 species (13 genera), and Pseudocandona pratensis (Hartwig, 1901) is newly recorded from Japan. The morphological characters, distribution in Japan, and taxonomic remarks are provided for these species. And also five species were given the new Japanese name. We discussed on the distribution of Dolerocypris ikeyai Smith and Kamiya, 2006 and Stenocypris hirutai Smith and Kamiya, 2006 found from rice field. Both species has been reported from runoff of spring, seeps, interstitial environment. We regarded their reduced swimming setae on antenna as an adaptive character to shallow and gently water flow. Population of rice field of this two species could be originated from the source of an irrigation channel, and they might be incidentally stayed in the rice field.
Deducing from overviewing papers dealing with biological diversity and endemism each for ecology and the other fields (conservation biology, taxonomy and biogeography), definitions of biological diversity (e.g., species diversity, species richness) in ecology are not congruent with those in the other fields, particularly with endemism. Based on the re-definition of endemism depending on a spatial scale, definitions of species diversity are re-examined as related with endemism as well phylogenetic diversity. Finally, phylogenetic diversity, i.e., biological diversity combining species richness with endemism on cladistic/phylogenetic trees, is appreciated, so that we can avoid the confusion due to definitions of biological diversity not congruent with to each other for ecology and the other fields.