Sunday, July 15, 2012

Gotta See It to Believe It!

Today's activities at Boston Harbor were very proactive and required lots of engagement. I had the experience of a lifetime; never did I think I would ever search for sea organisms in large bodies of water...multiple times. It was another hot day, but we got through it. We began our journey at approximately 10:30am and we noticed the tide had begun to fall. We observed the water for species at Rowes Wharf and the Barking Crab Dock.

Organisms discovered at the docks:
1) Star Tunicate - also in large colonies, white, ring-shaped from being submerged in water
2) Brown Seaweed - 
3) Bivalve Mollusks (Colony of Blue Mollusks) - several colonies observed at both Rowes Wharf and Barking Crab Dock - smooth, black/blue, hard shell
4) Purple Sea Urchin - seemed multicolored at first (grey, black, purple visible), spiny
5) Spongomorpha - 
6) Smooth Skeleton Shrimp - thin, about 1" in a length, very squirmy, pinkish-reddish color, slimy
7) Sea Squirt - a rope with diverse groups of organisms attached "fowling organisms"
8) Sea Lettuce - leafy, green
9) Periwinkle -the WTF is this orange stuff. Circular and felt squishy

We also caught a few good looks at some Striped Bass, one which appeared to be about 28" long. We saw lonesome male duck at the beginning of our tour waddling on the rocks before getting into water. We saw two black diving birds, Cormorants, at Gate 3 Dock of Long Wharf while we were throwing bread into water to attract any potential fish in the area.

The image of the dock on the Blackboard site does seem very similar to how we saw it today in person. However, the only difference is there seems to be a much more diverse culture of organisms living in the water. The only speculation I could come to about why I believe this as true is due to how very different the winter has been this past year (2011 into 2012) compared to (2010 into 2011). In 2010, there was much more snowfall than 2011. I came to the conclusion that the more snow led to the greater number of species dying off. Due to the fact that winter this past year was not as bad, organisms were able to survive and reproduce earlier.

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