Monday, April 9, 2012

Catchin' Crabs

Dr. Yamada teaching the troops
After a relaxing weekend in the sun and a happy non-denominational holiday, we returned for our second week learning all there is to learn about invertebrates. We started the day with a relaxing jaunt down to the pier on the estuary to check on our crab pots. Our mission this morning was to help Dr. Sylvia Yamada with her survey, looking for all types of crabs, but specifically the Europeans Green Crab, Carcinus maenas. We didn't end up finding any of them, but we did catch a number of pretty looking Metacarcinus magisterHemigrapsus oregonensis, and Hemigrapsus nudus specimens.
Dana says "Hello!"

Our counts completed, we returned to our lecture home-base to learn more about the European Green Crab and the factors related to its distribution from our resident expert, Dr. Yamada. One short thirty minute break later, we were back to our prison (winky-face) to learn everything about the Arthropods. For example, barnacles have a penis that is up to 50 times longer than their body length. It's amazing what you learn on any given day in BI 450/451...

A small Dungeness crab
After a lunch break and a short info session about volunteer opportunities with Itchung, we reconvened for another guest lecture, this time from the distinguished Dr. John Chapman. He presented an interesting lecture about threat from invasive species, specifically from Orthione griffenis, a small isopod that infects the gills of the local Mud Shrimp, and effectively castrates the females by drinking their blood, devastating the local population. This lecture was one of the more interesting lectures we have ever had the privilege to attend, mainly because of the applied science aspect of the information. A big thanks to Dr. Chapman for taking the time to visit our class.

Karina laughs at Ryan's crabs

One day down, four more to go. Filled with studying and memorizing. Drawing and describing. Practicing and tweaking. Eating and sleeping. Not eating and not sleeping.

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