Saturday, August 2, 2008

Observations Of Biodiversity

Location: Boston's inner harbor/ Barking crab dock
11:00, Warm and sunny

Observing using the good old fashioned methods of sight and poking/prodding
we managed to observe collections of biodiversity. We gathered these collections
from less than eight inches from the top of the surface.

The most prominent species (in area) that we found were mussels. These ranged from
medium sized mussels to groups of baby or small mussels. From research, i gather these
mussels to be blue mussels.

In the area that we initially observed there was a limited amount of orange substance,
however, moving around the docks we found areas that had larger quanities of this substance.
It is still a mystery to me as to what this substance could be as I could not find it in my guidebook
but previous postings and insights from my classmates intrigue me.

These collections of biodiversity surpassed my initial expectations.I expected to collect a few
different types of seaweed or moss and nothing more. I did not expect to find so many different
things living so closely together and as close to the surface as they were.

What i found most interesting was the insect like species that we found crawling over
the mussels and samples after we removed them from the water. While the mussels definatly covered
the most surface area it seems that the insects were apparent in the largest number. The "bugs"
looked like small shrimp shaped creatures but were crawling around the mussles shells. When looking
closely, one could tell that these creatures were of different shapes and sizes. We believe these to be
linear skeletal shrimp because of their color and segmented bodies.

Also present were different kinds of algae and seaweed, both green and red - most likely these were
rockweed, kelp, and moss.

Although the only tools available to use were pen, paper, and the human senses, I actually learned
more then i expected. Conclusions were reached using the National Audubon Society field uide to
seashore creatures as well as the Hitchhikers reading.

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