Last weekend a handful of us went back down to Long Key to fish for more sharks to be used in my research.  Since we had some problems with transporting the sharks that we caught last time (which ultimately led to their demise) I decided to bring my experimental setup to the Keys Marine Lab where we stayed and do they experiments there.  We fished at sunrise and sunset for baby lemon sharks, but ended up catching adult female bonnethead sharks instead.  They were all pregnant and possibly in that particular location to pup since the baby sharks were all about full term.  You’ll see how I figured that out in a second.  Anyhow, we also snorkeled to look for yellow  stingrays, but saw lots of other fun stuff too.  I only caught 1 stingray (below) but she was very pregnant – probably also very close to pupping – so we released her.  Hopefully that buys me some good karma!

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Red banded fanworm nestled in some coral

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One and only yellow stingray buried in the sand before we snatched her up in a net.  Note the super bulging belly.

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Giant Caribbean anemone

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Giant Caribbean anemone

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Sun anemone

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Anemone shrimp hanging out in his sun anemone.  Almost every sun anemone I found had one.

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Spiny lobster.  We saw tons of them.  Glad they survived Mini season, which was the week before!

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Fishes under a pier

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Another spiny

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Hermit crab

I conducted my experiments under a pavilion at the lab.  Not a bad view for work!!

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My setup

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A bonnethead shark getting odors squirted into her nose through a glass pipette.  The other tube in her nose is an electrode which will tell my computer whether she can smell the odors I put in her nose.

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Behind my lab….cormorants in the sunset

One of my sharks decided to give birth the night before her experiment.  Thank goodness!  We ended up with 6 little bonnetheads.  So cute!!!

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The experiments didn’t work quite as well as I would have liked, but that’s science.  Can’t win um all!  Luckily I am on vacation in Hilton Head with my family, so its time to relax, clear my head, and not think about my research for a while.

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Hope you all have a wonderful week!


About Tricia

I am a science geek who loves traveling and anything to do with the ocean!

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