Monday, July 21, 2014

Assignment 1: Drawings & Facts


Hi All!

Can we all just agree on how interesting, knowledgeable, and fun our field trip was on Friday! I cannot wait for our next field trip! I first wanted to post a picture of our beloved friend, the mop, who joined us in our adventure thanks to Charlie.  

For the first assignment I have decided to post the drawings I have created for each specie and I will include my notes plus any additional information in regards to each after the drawings. 

Part 1: Recreation Fishing

All the recreational fishing species (except the first one, as it was brought by Professor Berman) were found on the ocean, near the Boston Harbor Islands when it was low tide and from around 10 am to 11 am. 

The first drawing is known as the Clam Worm (N. virens). Per my notes the worm I observed was about 21 cm long and had a width of 1 cm. It had orange segments, many many of them, and its body had green and brown. When I touched the body of it, it was extremely soft and the mouth contained two black teeth. Its anus was located between the middle of the body and its head. This type of worm is common in New England and are commonly used as baits. They are known to have about 200 segments and two pair of eyes. They are mostly found on sand, sandy mud, clay, and various peat bottoms. They also feed from other worms and carrion and range from Maine to Virginia, and entire Pacific Coast.

The second specie is the Black Sea Bass (Centropristis Striata). The bass that we caught was about 15 in long and its colors were beautiful. It was brown and a turquoise color. It also had some black. This specific bass had a long dorsal fin and two pelvic fins. Moreover, it had one pectoral fin in each side and an anal fin. Its mouth was round when it opened ans it had very tiny teeth along the mouth. A very interesting fact is that most of them are born as females and then turn into males. One can tell by the "hump" that is located in between the head and the dorsal fin. They are located along the East Coast from Massachusetts to Florida. Most females can live up to 8 years while males up to 12 years.

The third specie (two of them) are called Yellowtail Flounder (Limanda Ferruginea) The first flounder was about 12 in long and it was brown and greenish with many dark (black) dots on its body. It had a long dorsal fin and anal fin. On the side where the eyes were located, it had a pectoral fin. The second flounder was bigger as it measured approximately 16 in and its colors were a light brown and some green. The second flounder did not have the amount of dots found on the first one and the dots that I did located were very light. Other than that, the other characteristics found on the first flounder were the same as the second one. The two flounders were right eyed. This specie is born with one eye in one side of the body and the other eye on the other side, but as time passes, the eye that is located on the white bottom part of its body, or better known as the blind side, migrates to the other side. This specie is very common in the Atlantic coast from Maine to New Jersey and their life expectancy is about 17 years. 

The fourth specie was a Silver Hake (Merluccius Bilinearis). This fish was the smallest fish we caught. It was about 8 in long and it had a gray coat with brown dots on the top. It also had a white bottom. It had one pectoral fins in each side, three dorsal fins, one pelvic fin in each side and two anal fins (the anal fins and pelvic fins were transparent in color). This fish can live up to 14 years and can weight up to five pounds. They migrate depending on seasonal changes and can be found from Maine to South Carolina. Additionally, they feed on fish, crustaceans, and squid and females are serial spawners, meaning that they can produce and release up to three batches of eggs in a single spawning season. 

The final specie that was caught was the Atlantic Striped Bass (Morone Saxatilis). I was completely amazed on how big and unique this fish was. When measured, it was about 38 in and it had so many colors ranging from purple, red, blue, green, and brown. The bottom of it was white and its tail was green, while the rest of the body was multicolored. It had two dorsal fins, one pectoral fin in each side of its body, one pelvic fin (transparent), and one anal fin. When I counted the number of stripes on the bass, there were about seven, which is a common number for this type of specie.  They can live up to 30 years and can weight 55 to 77 pounds. Females can produce a very large quantities of eggs, which are then fertilized by the males once they are released. They can be located along the East Coast from Canada to Florida. They mostly eat fish and their teeth are abrasive rather than cutting. The striped bass is very known in New England as it is an important commercial fish within fisheries. I have to say that holding this fish was quiet an experience!

Part 2: Tide Pool

All the tide pool species were found on one of the tide pools in Lovells Island when the tide was increasing. The time frame was from about 12:45 pm to 1:15 pm. 

The first drawing and specie is a Common Periwinkle (Littorina Littorea). This little specie had a dark shell with brown and black colors. It also had very remarkable stripes all round its shell. Some of the stripes were from right to left, while there were some stripes (about four of them) that were thicker and went from side to side (up to bottom). When I looked on the other side of the shell, I noticed a white surrounding on the opening of the shell. Inside this opening, the animal was located. When Professor Berman and our classmate Stephanie sang to it, I was able to notice the animal coming out slowly and I observed its two black antennas and black head. This specific specie was about 2 cm long and they may grow to be up to 4 cm. Also, it prefers hard surfaces and is the most common northern rock and winkle. An interesting fact is that they are originally from Europe and are very famous in Italian fish markets, but can be found from Canada to Virginia. They are mostly in intertidal zones which is the reason they were located in the tidal pool we observed as some parts of it are under water while high tide and above water at low tide. 

The second specie drawn is the Northern Rock Barnacle (Semibalanus Balanoides). This type of barnacle is the most common in New England. The barnacles I observed had six plates, which is a common characteristic for this type of specie. As you can see from the picture below, there were more than one located on the rock and some of the were much more developed than others. This specie also prefers intertidal zones and can be found from the northern Atlantic to Delaware. Moreover, they are native to the United States. Per my observations there were two colors on them; a bright yellow on the interior with a white linings on each. Most of them are originally white, but can change colors depending on their environment (stained by the sun or algal encounters). Also, the inside of it, or better known as the basal plate, was larger than other barnacles I have observed during our field trips. They can grow to be up to 2.5 cm each. 

The third specie is the Asian Shore Crab (Hemigrapsus Sanguineus). As I observed this specie I noticed it had four legs in each side and one claw on each side. Its colors were quiet amazing. It had light green near its eyes, and black, dark green, and brown on its body.  Its legs had green and brown segments, which I found to be pretty interesting. I also noticed two eyes near its claws. This crab was very small compare to the ones we saw at the Barking Crab docks. The one I saw was about 2 cm and they can grow up to 2.5 cm. They are square like shape and have three marginal teeth. They can vary in color and are also found in intertidal zones depending on the weather. During winter time they are subtidal. This specie is not U.S native and they are originally from Asia, as the name implies. They can be found in Maine to North Carolina and prefers rocks, which is the reason most of them are located underneath rocks (where we found the one I observed) . 

The fourth specie, which we had the option to chose, was the Common Slipper Shell (Crepidula Fornicata). While observing the surrounding of where I found this shell, I noticed the rocky shore, which is a common place where once can find this specie. They attached themselves to any hard object (the one I observed was attached to a rock). The shell had many little turns and its colors were white and red. Also, the edge was smooth and curved. The inside (the animal) had different colors, ranging from very light brown, dark brown, yellow, and black. The shell was about 3 cm long and they can grow up to 38 mm. They can be found in the Gulf of Mexico and Massachusetts Bay and at times (accidentally) in Europe. This specie is also unique as they also experience a sex reversal (just like the Black Sea Bass). The difference between this specie and the Sea Bass is that they are usually born as males and later become females. Another note I would like to make is that they are simply delicious! I had the opportunity to taste the one I observed and it was pretty good, it just needed a touch of lemon. Yum!

Well, I hope everyone learned something new on Friday because I certainly did. It was quiet an experience! I would like to apologize for the art, lets just say drawing is not a forte of mine. See you all Friday!

Required Guides
Boston Harbor Seaside Educator's Guide
Hitchhikers Guide

Daniela Baeza-Prepetit

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