Wednesday, July 27, 2011

From Snails to Whales
Today we focused on Habitats. At 8:40 a.m. (July 23) it was low tide and we observed the intertidal zone and what type or organisms survive in it. The intertidal zone also known as the foreshore and the seashore, is the area above water at low tide and under water at high tide. This area can include different types of habitats, with many types of animals. We noticed that was a lot of green fleece algae growing on the rocks. They grow in clumps and is usually found in rocky waters tide pools, rocky shores, or attached to rocks. We also saw some seaweed that was of a brownish color, and on the rocks were white specks called northern rock barnacles. Barnacles are really crustaceans, yes, crustaceans, that remain fixed in one spot for life when they become adults, and they attach their selves to hard surfaces such as rocks or pier pilings.

These type of organisms live in the intertidal zone because they are small and uncomplicated. The supply of water they require to survive recurs at intervals and wave action around the shore will wash away or dislodge those poorly adapted or suited organisms. There were also some mussels in the intertidal zone at the dockyard.

Under the docks at the barking Crab we found like a bed of blue mussels that had a lot of growing plants and animals. The blue mussel is kind of smooth shelled with beaks and upon researching the guide book I found out they have teeth. The outside is bluish black and the inside is violet. We also saw unattached sea lettuce, rock weed, kelp, summer corn and ribbon weed. Upon breaking a small portion of the mussel bed we noticed that different species of shrimp were attached ,including the sharp-tailed cumaceans, caprelids, and long horned skeleton shrimp. We also found sea anemones that were kind of soft, and retracted their tenacles when they were touched. There was the frilled anemone which was disk lobed with fine tenacles, ghost anemones, striped anemones, and lined anemones. Swimming in the water were also small herrings and blackfish and we came across a star fish and a club tunicate also.

One interesting thing was noticed and it looked like some sort of man made reef that was very bright colored with orange pipe like objects sticking out maybe to attract organisms to cling to it and encourage some sort of life. It was held together by some kind of pipe at the top, It was interesting to see how many different species can cling together and live in the same habitat.

I have revisited Blackboard and now know the the orange like object is called an orange or red sheath tunicate. It has two holes where one sucks water in and the other spits it out.

This is the correction for my blog. I was having the hardest time editing. I had lost the document.

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