Friday, January 24, 2014

Meaghan Faletti's Internship, Spring 2014 - Part 2

Meaghan here, from the sorting lab! I have seen some pretty cool stuff in our sediment samples so far, and I'm still learning more every day! I'm becoming more familiar with the different types of organisms, and Arvind has created "exercises" in which I will separate two types of organisms out from a dish to make sure I can tell the difference when I see them in a sample. It's really helped me out!

I think my favorite thing to see are brittle stars (Ophuiroidea), related to starfish and sea urchins. They're really cool to look at, but very fragile, so often their legs are dispersed throughout the sample! I've also seen a handful of squid beaks! Even though it's only a piece of these amazing creatures, it's still exciting to know there are so many of them out there. I've begun thinking more about what all of these diverse organisms are like when they are still alive, burrowing, feeding and traveling across the deep-sea floor. Can they see? Is it dark down there? Are they as boggled by each other as I am by them? It's funny yet fascinating - being able to poke and prod around in a piece of habitat from the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico.
Brittle star (Ophuiroidea)

Various critters

 Posted by:
Meaghan Faletti, FSU

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