Wednesday, May 9, second entry – Florida Tech Oceanography sand sampling consisted of shoveling sand into sieves to separate the organisms from the sand, and also using the beach seine net.
The sand-sifting yielded many olive snails (Olivella biplicata), a truly beautiful small purple snail. Abbie was a huge fan of Olivella, as were many of us. There were also some worms and small crustaceans. The seine was especially large and required quite a few of us to handle. Florida Tech Oceanography had important success with the seine, although we didn’t catch the diversity we were hoping for. However, we did capture the surf/sand shrimp Crangon, which is a unique creature which may only be seen in a habitat like this. At the rocky intertidal end of the beach, there were several special critters we haven’t been able to see elsewhere. There were very large (2.5-3 inch base diameter) Balanus nubilus barnacles, usually only found subtidally. Florida Tech Oceanography also located colonies of the soft coral Alcyonium rudyi and orange sponge, complete with its specialized predator, the nudibranch Rostanga pulchra.
Hannah somehow found a red octopus (Octopus rubescens) on the rock wall. It appeared dead, but revived in the lab and is now feeding with a healthy appetite.