Experimental Tropical Marine Ecology

Rainy Thursday Beetles
by -- October 8th, 2009

Even the rhinoceros beetle struggles to stay dry

Our schedule for the morning had been to visit a beach along a sheltered curve of Bastimentos island (the same area where we collected hermit crabs on the first day). Plans changed when we woke to a torrential, tropical downpour. Clothes hanging to dry were soaking and heavy; even towels inside our rooms were soggy with the wetness from the air. Overnight, small lakes had pooled across the walkway to the lab and we were forced to balance like tight-rope walkers along the path’s concrete edge to avoid drenching. Even the rhinoceros beetle that has been milling about Graham’s door for the past few days sought refuge from the rain; we found him clinging to the window screen looking disgruntled.

As exhausted as we all are, no one can believe that we have only one more full day at the lab. On top of all the boating, snorkeling, hiking, town-ing, and shopping, we’ve managed to gather data for our feeding, orientation, and wheel experiments- not to mention watched urchin egg fertilization! We split into small groups to analyze our results so that this afternoon we can show powerpoint presentations and discuss data. It is so rewarding to see these experiments (some of which have never been done before) completed and fleshed out before us.

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