Today is our last full day of class since tomorrow is just traveling! We began the morning with a fun activity—cleaning up the island! We took trash bags out, geared up with long pants tucked in socks, shirts tucked in pants, jackets tucked in rubber gloves, and picked up garbage at four different sites around Middle Caye—the mangroves of death, the coral graveyard, the Glover’s Reef dock, and the touch tank. I, along with Pierce and Keegan, picked up trash at the coral graveyard for 30 minutes. My hands pruned up with sweat, but the coverage was worth the mosquito protection.
Some interesting garbage found:
-lots of plastic bottles, lots of plastic bottle caps
-many sole-mate less sandals (ha!)
-baby doll leg
-2 hyperdermic needles
-a crab using a round bottle as a shell! Trash Crab!
Then, we had some coconut water, coconut meat, and lionfish ceviche—just doing our part to remove invasive species. The lionfish that I dissected was a 79.1g virgin male, and we found a whole, un-digested juvenile slippery dick wrasse in his stomach! The wrasse itself was at least 3 centimeters, maybe even 4. What a cool find!
Lionfish of genus Pterois beside the slippery dick wrasse (Halichoeres bivittatus) found in its stomach
We had our last lectures for the course on annelids and the history and culture of Belize given by our wonderful guides Herby and Javier—they were excellent and they will be missed so much!
Thank you Glover’s Reef Research Station for a fantastic week! Now, I’m prepared to head on home.