At this point, I’m having an identity crisis of sorts. Even though I’ve officially left the forest, I still feel compelled to find and analyze any cockroach that I find. While doing the ocean portion of the course, I am to look out for ctenophores and other jellyfishes, which I will explain more as the days keep going.
Today, we did a first dive from the boat dock near the Middle Caye (the island we will be residing in). During the dive, I managed to find the notorious upside down jellyfishes (Cassiopea sp.) resting on the bottom of the sand. Their notoriety comes from their abundant numbers and annoying stings. As their name implies, these jellyfish prefer to orient themselves with tentacles facing up and bell facing down. This orientation is due to the photosynthetic symbionts that rest within the tentacles and require sunlight. The jellyfish protects them by surrounding with a mat of stinging tentacles and is fed the photosynthetic products from its buddies.
Hopefully, we will be able to protect ourselves.