May 9, 2013

More fieldwork…

Another perfect day in the sun.  The conditions today were again spectacular.  One boat of students went to Old Dan Bank and a second to Triton Flats for more research.  On the way we saw a dolphin and a small group of very large (i.e. 5-6 ft) fish.  At Old Dan we caught a sea horse (Hippocampus erectus), pipe fish, and a sponge crab during the data collection process.

We had a particularly interesting visit by a sharksucker (Echeneis naucrates).  This fish species attaches itself to sharks (and rays and other large fish) and parasitizes the shark by removing blood with a sucking disc on the top of its head.  Needless to say it was trying to attach itself to each of us and kept returning repeatedly.  We had a hilarious time trying to catch it – slamming nets into one another’s posterior ends.  Field work offers a new surprise each day!

The evening was spent processing data and planning for Thursday’s field visits.  We ended the day with our weekly tradition of Key Lime Pie – a deserved break for the students have a hard day of work.

 

 

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