Monday, July 16, 2012

Please identify yourself...

I was very surprised to discover the diversity of organisms living on the floating docks of Boston Harbor.  This is some of what we found and tentatively identified:

1) Rock Weed - flat; broad; bladder-like air-filled sacs on the ends; Y-shaped forks.

2) Star tunicate - flat, star-like system; common in our area; whitish outline with clear or brown interior

3) Sea lettuce - bright green, ruffled, single broad sheet; common in brackish pools

4) Blue mussel - smooth bluish-black valved shell; violet inside; common in brackish water

5) Skeleton shrimp - pinkish-red; multiple segments; mantis-like claws; can stretch or collapse; tiny legs on final segments; abundant on fouling organisms

6) Orange sheath tunicate - number of orange stars compounded into a squishy mass; lives on docks

7) Northern rock barnacle - common in intertidal zone; plates are furrowed; white

8) Striped anemone - orange with numerous white tentacles

9) Spongomorpha - greenish-yellow; ropy and tangled

Much more that I was unable to identify:

A high-res picture of what we saw near the Barking Crab (very similar to the image on Blackboard of what others saw last year):

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