Friday, July 27, 2012

Snail Trails

With storm clouds looming, our fearless leader Professor Berman lead us on our mission to Lovells Island.  This journey however was not without its challenges.  Upon landing on George's island we learned that all inter-island boats were cancelled and we would not be able to make it to our next destination.  Being the crafty, intelligent, resourceful leader that he is, Prof Berman some how finagled us a private ride to Lovells island (I clearly did poorly on the midterm....too much brown nosing?)

After a short walk and chalk and brief exploration of Fort Warren we were ready to board our private vessel sent by the DCR.  Check out the pics I took--
Here's Prof B makin' it happen with the Park Rangers and Boston's Best Cruise guys


Fort Waren Inside----------------------------- Outside----------------------------Inside going outside--------
George's Island Boston in Distance

Boston Detail  

 Big Props to the Crew of The Abigail: The DCR boat that picked us up and brought us to and from Lovells Island.  THANK YOU so much for making our day happen!  There was so much in store for us at Lovells.  It would have been a shame to miss out.  THANK YOU thank you THANK YOU!

When we finally made it to Lovell's Island we were greeted by on island campers.  A beautiful island equipped with camp grounds, Prof Berman was delighted to see people using the island for this use.

YAY! Fun on Lovells Island!

We ventured right down on the the beach.  It was a beautiful sandy beach and the start, then as we walked further we encountered some rocks.  Here of course is where we started to find signs of life.  As we made it over to the cobble beach we encountered thousands of periwinkles and hermit crabs.  It was low tide so it was a perfect time to see all of these beings because the periwinkles stay attached to rocks.  When the water is low it exposes all the periwinkles demonstrating their physical size, and population size.  There were tons of these things!   

Included are pictures of a couple different types of Periwinkles I will try my best to identify.
This detail shows the difference in these two types of Periwinkles.
The bigger shells are smooth and have 3 definite lobes making their characteristics consistent with the common periwinkle.   However, the smaller ones are clearly ribbed.  The ridges are very clearly defined.  It is impossible not to note this difference.  Gosner notes that younger periwinkles have ridges and are not as smooth as grown ones.  This could explain the difference in texture between the two specimens in the picture.  Conversely, these ridged shelled creatures could be a completely different species all together.  It is possible that this periwinkle is a Rough periwinkle.  Gosner writes that the rough periwinkles typically live on higher ground than the common periwinkle.  Given the evidence in this picture, I would hypothesize that these rigged individuals are just young common periwinkles because they are living at the same level as the other common periwinkles.  


The other shell i found that appeared different from the thousands of dark periwinkle animals, was this:

This textured white shell stood out from the smooth dark shells.  I only found one of these, so I thought it would be worthwhile to take a picture of it.  Now I am glad I did!  With only cursory research, I guessed that this shel was either a dogwinkle or an oyster drill.  Given the size and shape I am more inclined to say that it is a dogwinkle.
Hermit Crabs Too!!!!

WTF is THAT?!  


 Those 3 buys are periwinkles...but the others are land snails and life up in the trees.  I believe the empty shells got on the rock by a bird.  Birds prey on these snails and they probably bring them and drop them on he rock to crack the shell then eat what's inside.  Just an idea, not even a theory.


These are land snails.

Another Big thank you to the crew of the Abigail for making our day a smashing success.
 Thanks DCR! 

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