Sunday, August 1, 2010

Excursion to the barking crab

My drawing
fingerling herring vs. longhorned krill shrimp vs. skeletal shrimp (above)

rockweed (above) filamentous seaweed (above)

Just another beautiful day on the boston harbor. Well in the four point channel to be more specific. We started the day in front of Tia's and what I noticed more than anything else was a rock that was still immersed in the water but had a crown of bright green flowing seaweed like substance attached to it that was oscillating with the eb and flow of the water. Upon further investigation I found evidence to support it is the filamentous seaweeds (picture above). At first I was going to report that it was hollow green weed which is similar but has a thicker body and is hollow on the inside, but the description of filamentous seaweed fit better. The field guide describes them as "threadlike, single stranded or branching, range in thickness from that of an individual fiber of absorbent cotton to that of [an] ordinary paper clip." What really changed my mind was that it "{attaches} to rocks or wood in the upper intertidal zone" where I observed it.

The two other plants I encountered were on the dock of the barking crab. The first was some sort of sea weed varietal. It thin paper like branches with a narrow origin which widened and created a sort of Y shape as it got closer to the bulbus heads which had small bumps. It was dark green in color with lighter green bulbs. The field guide mimics my observation and I can safely identify this plant as some species of rockweed.

The third plant was large pieces of water looked like bibb lettuce which were securely attached to the side of the floats under the dock. They're color was an unmistakeable bright teenage-mutant-ninja-turtle green. It's texture was smooth to the touch without being overly slimmy. It was somewhat translucent as well. According to the field guide this is Sea lettuce.


The little shrimp looking thing that was about 1.5 inches long seems to be a Horned Krill Shrimp but the field guide says that "microscope study is required to distinguish between species." It is "considered the most common species in the gulf of maine."

The little guy who had his head lodged in the spongy green growth around some sea weed reminded me of coffee swilingly gangly aliens from the men in black. From that detailed description I surmised that it was a skeletal shrimp (that and our group analyzed our observations together and came to that conclusion). I didn't observe very many animals but I analyzed a couple in depth and this guy was one that I wanted to look into so I wasn't going to leave him out of my blog.

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