Hello everyone! Today was an exciting but tiring first full day at Glover’s Reef. We began the morning with a snorkeling scavenger hunt on the patch reefs nearby, looking for behaviors like antagonistic interactions as well as different kinds of organisms, followed by a transect activity on land to determine the abundance of crab holes in the area. After lunch, we went out to the reef for our second transect activity focusing on the abundance and density of different species of green algae.
While we were in the water, I got the chance to hold my first echinoderm (!!!!), a sea urchin. It was about the size of my palm, had a reddish brown body and pale cream colored spines that got slightly darker closer to its body, and was found among the seagrass beds by the dock. It was a West Indian Sea Egg (Tripneustes ventricosus). It felt kind of weird when I was holding it, with the mouth suctioning at my hand and the spines poking me ever so slightly, but it was really cool as well.
Later on, we visited an area covered with fossilized coral. It was fascinating to examine the (almost) perfectly preserved pieces and try to identify them. I learned a lot about the different kinds of polyps and ridges that a coral can have and I’m looking forward to going back out to the reefs to look for the live versions of all the corals we saw. That’s all for today everybody! Thanks for reading! 🙂