Archive for the ‘Marine organisms’ Category

By the wind sailors (Vellela vellela) at Witty’s

April 28, 2016

Vellela on rock

While F block was getting ready to do their transect study at Witty’s Lagoon – Tower Point yesterday, Mara found the first of many ‘by the wind sailors’ (Vellela vellela) that we would see in the afternoon.

Vellela in hand

These are planktonic cnidarians (related to jellyfish, anemones and corals) which float at the surface of the ocean and are usually found in the open ocean. Sometimes though, when the winds are blowing onshore, they arrive at beaches, usually in great numbers.

Vellela in water

Vellela in tidepool

The one in the photo above is upside down (or perhaps I should say ‘sail-side’ down) in a tidepool with some very photosynthetically active green tangle weed (Acrosiphonia coalita) and some tentacles are visible.

Tidepool studies

April 11, 2016

High tidepool Weir's

First year marine scientists have been investigating tidepools at Weir’s Beach today and at Witty’s Lagoon, Tower Point over the past few days. Above Jacqueline and Ochuko are making observations about a high tidepool.

We also observed some interesting organisms and events:

Sea mouse

A shaggy mouse nudibranch (Aeolidia papillosa) at Weir’s Beach (perhaps the same individual that Roxi spotted last year). These slugs eat anemones! And speaking of anemones…

Dividing anemoneA dividing aggregating anemone (Anthopleura elegantissima).

Spawning aggregationA spawning aggregation of whelks (Nucella lamellosa) and an abundance of egg capsules.

An opalescent visitor

April 1, 2016

Hermissenda 1

We’re not sure how it arrived in the Floating lab, but several students have observed a beautiful nudibranch called the opalescent sea slug (Hermissenda crassicornis) crawling around in our seawater table.

Thanks to Maya and Zoli for the photos!

River otter on PC dock

March 31, 2016

Unknown

We have had a regular visitor in the form of a river otter (Lontra canadensis) at the Pearson College dock. A group of students watched this otter rub its body all over the dock on a sunny Wednesday afternoon.

Thanks to Kohtaro for the photo! See Flickr site for more river otter photos.

Feeling crabby Maya?

February 10, 2016

Maya with crab hat

Maya surfaced from her dive this afternoon at Swordfish Island with a Puget Sound king crab carapace on her head.

Maya boarding boat

She even managed to keep her hat on as she boarded the boat!

A beautiful day on the water this afternoon…

Molting Dungeness crabs

January 22, 2016

Crab molt

The crabs are molting, the crabs are molting! Last week at Prison Rocks, divers noticed a plethora of Dungeness crab (Metacarcinus magister) carapaces. Pictured above is one that Chris brought back to the College and below is a photo that Malou took underwater of a live crab.Crab underwater

A busy Friday for divers at Fossil Point

November 9, 2015

There was a lot going on for divers at Fossil Point on Friday 6 November. Their challenge was to collect marine debris – I was expecting some fishing lures & line, a bit of plastic debris, maybe some rope, but Kevin & Ian brought up the bottom of a boat!!

Kevin & boat bottom

Courtney found some derelict fishing gear underwater and there was a white tarp floating at the surface which we collected as well.Underwater debris

Isaac and Benoit missed their opportunity to participate in the underwater pumpkin carving competition during CAS week, so they brought their pumpkin underwater with them and carved it at Fossil Point.

Isaac & Benoit

Alashua & Malou found some small pieces of garbage underwater and a mostly intact bird skeleton! It may be a Thayer’s gull?

Gull skeleton in bucket Gull skeleton

While I was waiting for divers to surface, I also collected some floating debris that was drifting past the boat along with a pteropod / sea butterfly.

Pteropod

It was a busy & wonderful afternoon!

Plankton light traps

November 5, 2015

Light traps2

At 5:45 pm on 2 November, 8 light traps designed to capture plankton were suspended off the Pearson College dock.

Light traps

Light trap

Marine Science students retrieved the traps the next day and examined the plankton that were captured.

Jazmin

We saw some very cool critters including many copepods with egg masses:

Copepod

And a polychaete worm and a crab megalopa larva:

Polychaete & megalopaMegalopa

Majestic male deer

October 23, 2015

Black tailed deer

Thanks to Yoana for pointing out this deer that was resting just across from the floating building before class yesterday. We invited him to join the Marine Science class, but he seemed to be enjoying his peaceful perch.

Orcas, Octopus and Urchins, oh my!

October 6, 2015

Stella Miguel Orca German

On our way to the kelp forest this afternoon, G block marine scientists were distracted by three orcas making their way from the mouth of Pedder Bay towards Victoria. It was a magical experience to follow the whales as they travelled past William Head. There were two males and one female in the group.

We pulled ourselves away from the whales and headed back to Fossil Point where three divers and five snorkelers entered the water to explore the kelp forest. This time, Courtney brought us a giant red sea urchin (Strongylocentrotus franciscanus) and it was Jasper that found the octopus (an already-dissected octopus!).Red urchin

Inside mantle cavity Beakless octopus