Sunday, August 1, 2010

Day 4 - Lovell Island

This is a picture of the bridge connected to Long Island. I took this on the boat ride out in the morning sometime after 9:30am.

Empty shells found with holes in them.




Barnacles cover rocks in tide pool on Lovells Island around 11:30am.


The shore on Lovells Island, notice the wrack lines.
A Grove Snail found in a tree, yellow shell with cream body peeking out.

Grove Snails also found in the trees more inland on the island, in both brown shell and yellow shell.

Only spot on beach where these empty shells were found.

Mussel of a slipper shell.


View in one of the tide pools (notice how clear the water is) of periwinkles, club tunicate, blue mussels, rockweed, and barnicles.


Today was another glorious day on Boston Harbor! A boat took us out into the harbor past Deer, Spectacle and Long Island. Such a clear day I could see everywhere! We went out onto Lovells Island and arrived sometime around 10:30am. It was low tide so we could see the wrack lines in the sand that show where the high tide reaches up to. It was sunny and warm, I think around 70 - 75 degrees. No humidity. The water here was much clearer than back at the Barking Crab. Part of the beach was sandy and part of it was cobblestones, side by side. We then walked to the tide pools. What a beautiful view and it was very exciting to go exploring with our partner and in groups. Everyone worked so well together sharing what they saw and caught. Helping each other by taking pictures so everyone could touch all the animals and vegetation we saw. I actually held so many more animals then I ever thought I would. There was a difference between today and yesterdays finds along the "shore line" around the buildings built up around Boston Harbor and the docks. I don't remember seeing any periwinkles yesterday. Yesterday I did see the Orange Sheath Tunicate, only in smaller amounts. Today I noticed larger quantities of it and lots of Club Tunicate. This tube-like animal came in different colors, yellowish-gray and reddish brown. I thought it was a plant until I looked it up. I am going to try and attach a video of me showing it squirting. It has a harder outer layer but the inside felt soft and squishy when I squeezed it. I got my information from the Audubon book but also looked at this website. www.mass.gov/czm/invasives/docs/invaders/s_clava.pdf

I think the reason we I saw more animals and plants out on the island is partly because there is less human "contact" out on the island and nature can just do what it should. No humans are building structures in the way and driving boats around. I saw ducks along the Boston shoreline but none on Lovells to eat things that try and live there.
We found a small Northern Lobster, see it once we set it free in one of my videos. Also found were Asian Shore Crabs. Knowing by now that I should question what Prof Berman tells us about the animals and plant life we have been observing, I tried to look it up in my Audubon book. Funny thing is that it isn't in there, so I decided to try the internet. I found this site www.mass.gov/czm/invasives/docs/invaders/h_sanguineus.pdf
Now this site said it was from the Guide To Marine Invaders In the Gulf of Maine. The picture was taken by Salem Sound Coastwatch. Guess it is the Asian Shore Crab. Brownish in color, eight legs and two larger claws in the front of the body. This is also non-native to this area. Incredible that so many things were brought here by humans. I think it would be cool to be able to go back in time before all this invasive species came here and see what was actually native and how where we looked would diff. Something to think about. I also saw Green Crabs which are now the most common crab in the Gulf of Maine. Like the Asian Shore Crab the Green crab is non-native. It is more greenish in color though with beige and blackish markings.
There was some of the Rockweed scattered here and there today but to me it seemed as if it was more concentrated in the intertidal zones I saw yesterday on the man-made walls like the one we saw at Long Wharf and Christopher Columbus Park. I saw lots of barnacles on both days. I didn't get a close enough look yesterday but the ones all over the rocks and some animals were the Northern Rock Barnacle. I looked it up in my Audubon book, it is a crustacea and the reason it was hard to count more than one and get the same number of plates was because when it is so densely packed onto things it's shape can become distorted. There was a much different variety of animal life in the tide pools then we saw in our groups at the docks of the Barking Crab.
After lunch Prof Berman, apparently still hungry, decided to show us all that he would eat the raw mussel from a slipper shell. I posted a video, see below. The shell was small, creamy white in color and the mussel clung very tightly to another shell. The mussel inside had a variety of colors from brownish to orangey. I found this on www.mitchellspublications.com/guides/shells/articles/0013/
Now for the snails I/we all saw. The Common Periwinkle Snail is in the Gastropoda class and is an intertidal species of a marine snail. It is non-native to this area and is considered invasive. It was introduced by humans. Some people actual eat them, although more popular in Europe than the United States. It was incredible to see all of the periwinkles so clustered together in the tide pool. It was 10:30am and low tide when we first arrived. There was an occasional few here and there that must not have been able to move fast enough when the tide was going out because they were stuck out in the air on rocks. Fear not, they will be safe! This black snail has a seal or opercle that seals it safe inside until high tide rolls in and it can be under water again. We had to take a periwinkle and hold it in our hand until it showed us what it looked like. We all took one and because they took their time coming out and showing themselves several of us decided to try Prof Berman's advice and sing, hum or just wait silently until it emerged. I sang to mine, not quite sure that's what coaxed it out but several minutes later out came the opercle attached to a brownish body. There was a tan "foot" that emerged and then two feelers that reminded me of antennae. One really cool thing about periwinkle shells was picking one up and finding someone else was living there, a Long-clawed Hermit Crab! According to my audubon book they are also a crustacea and are the most common hermit crab in the atlantic. One of their favorite places to live is an empty periwinkle shell. Think about it, nature has always been recycling!

Next was the Grove Snail, also in the Gastropoda class. Prof Berman found 5 empty, broken shells around one rock area. Why? I have been trying for two days to figure this one out! I have searched and searched the internet and have come up with nothing. I probably sound silly writing this but I wanted to acknowlege the question and would love to know the answer to this one! Anyone out there know???
We were to go off and find as many Grove (land) snails as we could. Crazy as it sounds, they were in the trees along the path. Due to the bands on their shells some people call them Banded snails. We found the yellow shell, brown rings, or bands, further apart and a whitish body, the same description only the brown lines were closer together. Brown shells with darker brown rings and a grayish/brown body. These snails were a lot lighter than the periwinkles and the shells felt more fragile than the thicker periwinkle shells. I had to look up information and used several sites. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grove_snail and www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Snail
Are the Common Periwinkle Snail and the Grove snail related? In the second site it did say that all are snails are related in the same way that all insects are related. They are very distant cousins. Some of these Grove snails were not as shy as the periwinkle (marine) snails in showing themselves to us. They came right out and started climbing all over both my and others hands. I had a harder time with the question of whether the grove snails were white-lipped or
brown-lipped. As with everything, it depends on where you look but I found on
Lastly, we were asked to find shells with what looked like holes drilled into them. I didn't find any but several people did. (see picture above) I found my information quoted below on
www.statemaster.com/encyclopedia/Snail#Lifespan that both the yellow shelled and the brown shelled Grove Snails are both white-lipped.
"Whelk large marine gastropod snail found in temperate waters. The whelk is sometimes eaten, but when food is plentiful, fishermen frequently use it for bait. Whelks are scavengers and carnivores, equipped with an extensible proboscis, tipped with a filelike radula, with which they bore holes through the shells of crabs and lobsters, and a large, muscular foot with which they hold their victims. The thick-lipped, spiral shell has an uneven surface with many protuberances. The knobbed whelk, the largest species, ranging up to 16 in. (40.6 cm), and the channeled whelk, slightly smaller, are both found south of Cape Cod, Mass. In summer the strings of pale, disk-shaped egg cases are common along the shore. The whelk is sometimes mistakenly called conch . Whelks are classified in the phylum Mollusca , class Gastropoda, order Neogastropoda. "
I know the quote above says found "south of Cape Cod". I found another site www.maine.gov/dmr/rm/whelks.html that states the Common or Waved Whelk is also found in the Gulf of Maine. I wanted to find a picture but I found several and since I didn't see any actually myself on the island I didn't want to post something incorrect.


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Mary D

1 comment:

Copley Square News said...

hi Mary
Joe santosuosso I grab a picture of your shells with holes in them. I hope you don't mind. It was a great picture.
joe Santosuosso