Sunday, July 24, 2011

From Snails to Whales

Today we focused on Habitats. At 8:40 a.m. (July 23) it was slack tide and we observed the intertidal zone and what type or organisms survive in it. We noticed that was a lot of green fleece algae growing on the rocks. Some were also of a brownish color and on the rocks were white specks called barnacles. 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.

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 wer kind of soft and retracted their tenacles when 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 space.

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