Sunday, August 3, 2008

Saturday- Long Wharf and Barking Crab Dock

Name: Erald Pelari

Saturday August 2, 2008

Location: Marriot Long Wharf and the Dock next to the Barking Crab

Weather: Sunny, Hot, and Muggy

We started our class and scientific journey at the Marriot Long Wharf. First thing I noticed was the low tide. Average tide around the Boston Harbor is 9 ft, but today according to professor Berman the tide could reach around 11 ft. which is below average. According to the “Boston Harbor Seaside Educator Side” a full and new moon offer the lowest tides. So I presume that the night before we had a full moon. The low tide allowed us to see a lot better the inter-tidal zone and notice the limited life on the rocks exposed to both air and water. The rocks had some green algae on them but there was hardly any other visual living organism on them. Most of the fully grown seaweed, some green and some brown were emerged under sea, but still visible with the human eye. Over here we also saw little fishes swim around the area looking and eating food. There were around 20 fishes swimming in a circle close to one another.

Since this area is also a busy dock with ferries and water taxis moving constantly one can not help but notice the trash on the water. This does have an affect on the species that can live and survive in that area. Polluted waters increase the risk of deadly bacteria growing on the seaweeds and the algae, and or other species where they then are forced to abandon this area or die and become extinct from a particular area.

We continued walking along the harbor and it was evident that areas not exposed to air had thriving aquatic lives, with larger and longer seaweed, mussels, and other things. One thing that I thought was sort of odd were the ducks in the water. From previous experience and what have read and heard is that ducks like and prefer sweet water so I am not sure as to what ducks were doing swimming in salty water? I am looking forward for some feedback on this puzzling issue.

Later we went to the dock next to the Barking Crab Restaurant. Here we did extensive observation and research. Here we analyzed the different species more carefully and tried to name the various living things that we saw using the Peterson field Guide on the Atlantic Seashore, as well as the opinions of our fellow peers.


All of us separated into groups and observed different locations on the dock. Here some of did visual observation, some drew pictures, other took pictures with their digital cameras, and some touched the different living species in the water as well as outside the water. Some conclusions on what the hell kind of species they are were based on our own previous knowledge.


Being the first day on this one week long scientific expedition I did not have the proper tools and or the knowledge on how to record scientific data and what are some tools that will help me do a good job. Today I only had my pen, a notebook, and a pair of latex gloves and Peterson’s Field Guidebook. I’ll be frank with you the guidebook could have been a lot more helpful if I knew how to use it correctly. I used mostly my hand and my pen to try and move things around to have a close visual observation.

Observation and Data

First Specimen: Green Algae

My first observation was a green leaf about 7 in long 4 in wide with white little branches running along it just like veins in human body. While in the water this big leaf or algae was attached to the dock but because it was long you could see it move in wave motion due to movement in the water. This algae was dark green in the water, but as soon as we pulled it out of the water after a while it started to lose some of its color and got lighter. I can not find a specific name for it but I am pretty sure it is an algae.

Second Specimen: Shrimp Like creature

Obviously this is defiantly not the name of these creatures but they did resemble a shrimp 100 times smaller then a regular size. These little living things were found in between the algae and mussels. They had various legs, I can not give a number because their legs were so small and it was hard to count. They also had small like antennas on the top of their forehead and from my observation it looked like they had a shell around them similar to that of a shrimp. Some were white with little black dots on their backs.

Third Specimen: Blue Mussels

On the docks at the barking crab there were a lot of areas, where you could see various mussels. Some were fully grown and some were very small all combined together and tangled in between green seaweed. The mussels were dark in color one could say they were dark blue and if carefully cleaned and observed one could see that this is a blue mussel. According to Peterson’s field guides this could be a blue mussel judging from the color and the fact that it grows around this area of waters. One interesting aspect about these particular mussels at the dock near Barking crab was that the shell was still there but there were no mussels inside the shell. I believe that the level of pollution has something to do with the nonexistence of a mussel in the shell but after close observation one could see that almost all the big shells were covered with these orange looking bacteria if you will.

Fourth Specimen: Orange Sponge

The Orange Sponge is a name I gave to the orange area surrounding the mussels. They are squirting and encrusting the mussels shell. Closely looking at them they looked like a flower with a dark orange middle and flower like petals surrounding it. I would believe that this is some sort of a parasite that takes over the mussels shell after the mussel inside has died. These orange sponge looking bacteria are there to maybe help with the decomposing of the shell left behind after the mussel dies.

1 comment:

Erald said...

A couple of things need to be straightened out here. The Second specimen I said it resembled a shrimp. Actually that is called an Amphipod. The green algae is actually Sea Lettuce, which was ruffled at the edges. It was bright green. Also the Orange Sponge thing is actually an Orange Sheath Tunicate