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Our team wrapped up their last night on Friday, August 21st at 5pm. They celebrated by having dinner together and talked about the amazing experiences they have shared these last three weeks. After dinner they watched their last sunset on the R.V. Point Sur for the year. Once the sun completely disappeared the team took advantage of the clear night sky and watched the stars and constellations.
Here is the team!
Pictured here is Dr.Heather Judkins (right) and our Teacher at Sea, Alisha Stahl.
Although this research cruise has come to an end we have plenty of things to talk about! The scientists have learned a lot on this trip and will continue to sort through their data once they've arrived in their own labs. Make sure to come back as we continue to bring their discoveries to you. Until tomorrow!
Ever wonder what a day is like on board the R/V Point Sur? I'm here to tell! The scientists on the R/V Point Sur spend a lot of time working and sleeping!
As the R/V Point Sur travels the Gulf of Mexico the scientists work hard to sample each site both during the night and day. Every night the scientists deploy the MOCNESS nets between 9 and 10pm. The nets stay in the water until 3am when the scientists pull them back up. They then repeat this process each morning. Every morning the scientists deploy the MOCNESS nets between 9 and 10am, pulling them back in at 3pm.
While the MOCNESS nets are in the water most of the scientists are sleeping. The MOCNESS operator Mr. Gray controls and monitors the nets during this time. The scientists wake up shortly before the nets are pulled back up because then their work starts. Once the nets are on board the scientists empty and process the catches.
Mr. Gray controlling the MOCNESS nets.
Mr. Gray bringing the MOCNESS nets back on board.
Ms. Tammy and Ms. Heather wait for the MOCNESS nets to come back up.
MOCNESS nets back on board.
Sorting the catches!
While the other scientists start sorting the catches scientists Charles Kovach and Travis Richards deploy the CTD to measure water conductivity and temperature at different depths.
After all of the morning work is done the scientists enjoy breakfast, usually at 6am. They then try to watch the sunrise! I'm sure the sunrises look pretty from the boat. Then the scientists take a nap before afternoon work begins. In the afternoon the scientists work on blog posts and input data from the morning catches. Dinner is served at 6pm on board the R/V Point Sur. After which the scientists spend some time relaxing. Some scientists nap while others watch a movie or read a book.
Check out some more images here: http://outreach.deependconsortium.org/index.php/public/kids/slideshows
All this talk of sleeping is making me tired! I think I'll go take a snooze. Until next time my friends.
It's not always smooth sailing out in the Gulf of Mexico. This is a waterspout; in the photos moving left to right you can see how it formed and how it ended. Although some of these can be dangerous, this one did not do any damage to our team out at sea. Whew!
The weather didn't stop our team from using the MONESS nets! Take a look at some of the catch.
Can you believe that both photos are of Bobtail Squid? Both of these are adults and this is as big as they grow!
The MOCNESS nets also brought up another type of Dragonfish (Idiacanthus fasciola). This Dragonfish is a female. Males don't get the barbel and bioluminescent bulb hanging off of their chins. Can you see the bioluminescent photophores on her sides? Those spots glow in the dark and most likely help these fish recognize the same species and the opposite sex. The bulb at the end of her barbel glows to attract her food. The barbel is attached to her chin, see?
That's all for today! Comment below if you have any questions. We hope to hear from you!
Good morning everyone! I'm here today to talk about some predators the MOCNESS nets have caught in the past week. We have seen some of these fish before, but I'm always excited to see them again.
First up is the fangtooth, Anoplogaster cornuta. The fangtooth is one of the biggest predators in the deep ocean. I think his name is fitting, just look at those sharp teeth! The large bottom fangs of this fish are so long that the fish actually has a pair of holes in the roof of their mouth that allows the fish to close its mouth without hurting itself. That's really cool, don't you think?
Next we have some dragonfish. We've seen dragonfish before. On this cruise the scientists have caught two species: Photostomias guernei and Echiostoma barbatum. Just like the fangtooth, dragonfish also have fang-like teeth. Do you notice how the teeth curve a little bit? This curve helps the dragonfish hold onto its prey. Dragonfish are covered with gorgeous photophores. If you don't remember what photophores are check out the blog post from May 21, 2015! Ms. Alisha Stahl, our teacher at sea for this cruise, and Ms. Katie Bowen, a student, aren't scared to hold the dragonfish. Check out the pictures below!
What do you all want to learn about next? Let me know by using the comments link!
Let's take a look at these fish the MOCNESS nets brought up! This deep water fish is usually found between 1,460m and 3,500m. This is a juvenile, or not yet an adult. If you look closely it's almost like they don't have eyes. These fish actually have what remains of photoreceptive tissue, so instead of having eyes like we do, their eyes are beneath their bones. The "eyes" have no lenses but they can detect light. Can you picture it? It's like when you close your eyes on a really sunny day. You can still "see" some of the light, right? Try it next time you're outside.
Here is another fish with different eyes! This deep water fish has eyes that face towards the surface of the water and are adapted to see faint light or to key in on bioluminescence. We've talked about bioluminescence before, do you remember?
Leave a comment below If you have any questions for our scientists! Until next time!