Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Lovells Island - Periwinkles to Snail!

Monday, August 4th, 9:00am
Sunny and HOT 
Cruise to George's and Lovells Island

First Location for Observation: Northeast part of the island where we spent some time in a tide pool looking for periwinkles and to no surprise came across some other interesting findings. 

One of the items collected was that orange goo tunicate. I was able to locate this along the rocky part of the shore near the stone wall. I noticed there were some traces of tunicate on various seaweed - one in particular, Irish Moss (I believe it to be). And some other pieces of it were free floating about with the tide coming in. 

Once back on land and tired of humming at periwinkles...we all examined our periwinkle's size, shape and color and realized that there was some variety among them! 

12:30p Snail Hunt (one of my favorite parts)...
We were assigned to our groups and sent out to find living snails as well as the shells. At first this was rather difficult but as soon as we found one, the rest came. A few of us went down a steep set of steps off the path into a rather moist area where we found a few baby snails as well as larger ones. Luckily we had Vadim in our group so he was able to locate and reach up into the sumac trees for us shorter people (thank you). I was amazed by how colorful some of these land snails were and also how active they can be at times - who knew! 

By 2:00pm, after our scavenger hunt, we then took our snail shells that we collected along the path back to a sitting area where a few of the classmates divided up the shells into groups depending on their physical characteristics - primarily by color and number of spins (?). I believe there were 100 shells in total (after removing the broken, ugly ones). 

The question asked was whether there was more than one snail species present based on the observations we made. With knowing what I know and learning what I did from our class discussion, I still want to say there was only one present. It is possible to have variation among the snails for different reasons (for example, their environment/surroundings) while still belonging to the same species. 

I had a great time with everyone!!

1 comment:

LizZ said...

Ok so I was wrong with my guess that there was only one species present in the collection of snail shells.
Apparently there are two kinds of terrestrial snails: Grove and Garden...

Good to know. Cheers