Experimental Tropical Marine Ecology

Snorkeling Fiesta!
by -- March 9th, 2012

Day 5 (March 7, 2012)

Today we spent all morning snorkeling among beautiful coral reefs. I’ll let the pictures below tell the story

A fascinating shrimp caught our attention

Amazing diversity in the reefs although dominated by fire coral

We even spotted a Mermadia Alexisius!

After lunch we headed back out on the boat for some more snorkeling, this time in the Solarte mangroves where this time, thankfully, there were no jellyfish attacks. The diversity on the mangrove roots was spectacular and I collected some great shots for my independent study project.

Fire sponge and fire coral dominated this area (Blue ruler scale is ~6cm.)

Even the sandy bottom with Thalassia grass that Shannon was exploring for her independent study had plenty of creatures including many polychaetes.

Beautiful little thing that you never think was a worm

After an exciting day in the field instead of closing up shop we went back into the lab after dinner to run another crab experiment. We altered the methods to hopefully get significant results. This didn’t happen but it helped us figure out how to better our experimental design and taught us a thing or two about crab behavior. We decided to try again in the morning with a stronger concentration of volatile chemical cues.

Anika placing a sample crab into the apparatus.

We left lab at around 10 pm and hit the hay soon after. We needed our rest as we knew we had a full day ahead of us tomorrow.

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