Saturday, August 2, 2008

Saturday Observation, by Timothy

Question: Where is there more bio-diversity.  Intertidal areas or sea or island zones.

Date: Saturday, August 2, 2008, around 11:30 AM


Location: Boston, Massachusetts.  Fort Point Channel, private floating boat dock, under the Evelyn Moakley Bridge (Northern Avenue)


Environment: Sunny, in the upper 70’s.  Tide was rising; the water was cloudy could not see more then a few feet below the surface. Water temperature seemed warm.


Method: From the surface, observe the animals and plants in a two by two-foot area that are attached to the dock.  Then remove a fist full of the specimens and examine more closely on the dock.  Record observations.


Tool: The full capabilities of the human body, note pad, pen, small knife, digital camera,

Peterson Field Guide, for the Atlantic Seashore.



Surface: Several medium sized mussels, large areas of an orange substance, brown moss or seaweed covering the entire area, small patch of green moss and a large volume of small shells.

On the Dock: Several black and brown medium sized mussels, large areas of a smooth orange substance, brown and black moss or seaweed covering the entire area, a large volume of small black mussels, hundreds of small bug like creatures.

Breaking the mass apart: Four mussels measuring between 1” to 11/2”, black and deep blue in color with a smooth outer surface, the internal contains of the mussels was the similar to the smooth orange substance on the surface.  Several smaller mussels about a few 1/16 of an inch were attached to the larger mussels.  The bug like creatures can be placed in a few different categories; shrimp, worm with a star, crab, caterpillar, and stick type. 


Findings: By using our three resources; Peterson Field Guide, Seaside Guide and Hitchhiker guide.

The orange substance attached to the mussels is Club Tunicate

The other areas cover in orange is Orange Sheath Tunicat

The mussels are Blue Mussel

The worm with the stars is a Star Tunicate

The stick creature is Skeleton Shrimp

Still cannot identify several of the small bug type creatures.


Conclusion:  Globalization does not just exist on the surface.  These fouling organisms came from around the globe before they established them selves into other watery environments and changing the diversity of our underwater plants and animals.


No comments: