Today was similar to the previous day in terms of the diving activities, as we redid the patch reef data collection and sea urchin collection on an area outside of the marine protection zone. We then compared the two data sets, analyzed them based on our project hypothesis and came up with a final poster to showcase our results.
My first takeaway of the day was how adorable sea urchins are. After seeing how they move about using their spines, my perception of them changed completely. And having to handle and measure them also made me like them so much more. Just see the picture below to see how close we’ve gotten.
It was also fun surveying another patch reef area, and after the experience from the previous day, I was much more confident with collecting data and also identifying organisms in general. Below are some of the creatures I managed to capture (with my camera)!
There were Christmas tree worms everywhere!!! And I saw a new mollusk species which I have never seen personally, the Cyphoma gibbosum (flamingo tongue shell):
Exciting times. I’m looking forward to the next few days because we will get to check out other reef types such as the backreefs and forereefs, and I’m eager to see how different they will be from path reefs.
After snorkeling, we spent the afternoon analyzing our data and creating our poster to present to Adrienne and Scott. And then right before dinner we had a friendly pickup game with some of the island staff. Got to sweat it all out! I have to say, Alessi is pretty tenacious when it comes to fighting for the ball, and Therese and Isaac are great technical players. Meanwhile, Deepu is definitely the star striker like Cristiano Ronaldo, scoring 2 of the goals for us. This is my brief analysis of EBIO 319’s soccer team.
All in all, today went by really quickly and I thoroughly enjoyed both the snorkeling experience and the free time to mingle with the other people in Middle Caye. Looking forward to more tomorrow!