Tuesday 16th Feb - Day Three Continued: Going into the Field!

adventure bay small


Our first stop was Adventure Bay! Nicole (another teacher) and I were were teamed up with marine scientists, Fiona and Kirrily. We drove to Adventure Bay to collect samples of organisms (anything living). The Scientists had permits to be able to take organisms from the rock pools. Since the day was rather cold (10 degrees Celsius), windy and raining on and off literally every five minutes, it made me nervous to take my shoes off to wade in the water. Surprisingly the water temperature was warm - certainly warmer inside than outside due to the wind chill factor. I was wearing five layers to stay warm in the cold - singlet, thermals, vests, warm jacket, raincoat and beanie (and a hood over the top!). Once we started searching for specimens, we didn't notice the cold. It was important, though, not to turn your back on the ocean because there were many largish waves that could knock you off your feet if you weren't prepared for them. Someone in our team was always on the lookout and warned the others if a wave came in. 


Fiona studies seaweed and she showed Craywed - see the picture just above with our feet. They can grow up to 3m long. She also showed us Neptune's Necklace - Hormosira Banksii (see the picture below right), which is high in iodine ad early last century  used to be given to school children in Tasmania as a source of iodine. The saying went, 'A bead a day to keep goiters away!'. There was also Bull Kelp (Durvillaea potatorum) – there are discs at the bottom are called ’hold fasts’ because they hold fast onto the strata. which has an interesting story attached - The Aborigines used to use this as a water carrier after they dried it out. Fiona once used Bull kelp to make mokasins. She got the fresh plant preserved in glycerin and shaped them into mocasins and sewed them up with seagrass. How ingenious!! (And smelly, she added.)

 There were a few other species that have adapted to the strong currents moving in and out of the rockpool with a strong 'root' system that sticks to the rocks. Kirrily told me about a rockpool organism that looks like a plant but it's actually an animal.  Another organism, called a sea squirt, in it's larval form it has a primitive vertebra called a notochord but in its adult form it becomes an invertebrate! 

seaweedrockpool and neptunes necklace

The photos below are some of the specimens we took from the rockpools. The left picture just above shows some seaweed that I managed to observe under a microscope. Even though I couldn't see it with the naked eye, under the microscope I saw a little invertebrate resembling a shrimp! Much of the bushy kinds of seaweed harbour a lot of microscopic life and are well worth studying. 

fishLeft: Can you spot the fish

chiton4These are limpets. Their shells have eight segments.

crabbyThis is  a very small crab. We took two back to the lab.

seastarThis is the underside of asea star. The middle section is the contents of its stomach. 

sea spaghettiThe outside of these organisms is calcium carbonate. The inside is a black snail-like creature! It is a Serpulidae - coral worm.

sea star orange Just another one of the beautiful sea stars.

chiton scale This chiton is on a spade that has eight segments on its shell.

anemone scaleThis anemone is a swimming anemone, which means it can move on its own.

Laying Insect Traps

At about 2pm, we went to Mount Mangana to lay some insect traps for the entomologists.

trap 2 

Lynette is the scientist in the blue jacket in the picture above and she studies beetles. She designed this trap herself. It has a very clever design - the beetles fly into the flat plastic and fall down into the plastic container. The funnel lets out any water and the beetle falls into another container full of ethanol, which is a liquid that kills and preserves the beetles. 

malaise trap

This is a malaise trap (the picture above). The insects fly into the black cloth, move upwards towards the white cloth in the center until they fly up into a plastic container and into ethanol.

trap 3

Above is a shallow pitfall trap. You lay that on flat gorund and pour in a few drops of detergent and water. The detergent breaks the surface tension of the water so that the invertebrates drown and sink to the bottom of the container. The yellow colour attracts them. Very cleverly thought out!

 The Laboratory 

The Lab is in the sheep shearing quarters. It contains desks full of scientific equipment - some of which I recognised from our schol lab! Nicole and I were allowed to place specimens in jars of ethanol and we used a field guide and microscope to identify some of the species. We identified a crab, sea star, and periwinkle (identified them by their proper scientific name, of course! There are many different types of sea star, crab and periwinkle.

See the pictures below and please stay tuned for tomorrow's adventure helping colect seeds for the seed bank!

nicole and me in lab

 kirrily labme 2

hermit sample 1poison jar small