Day Off #1

The past few days, we have rotated people through some days off, two at a time, so work can continue on the seals, but give everyone a break.  It's easy to overwork yourself with the seals.  It's kind of a dangerous combination of extremely enjoyable work that is very fatiguing, so you can really wear yourself down without realizing it.  So Darren and I went to McMurdo for some R & R.  So today, I continue the Crary Lab tour (where the seal skull was, if you remember), and bring you to the aquarium, where experiments are in action on various marine critters.
Urchin experiments predominate this view (in the blue tank on the left, and larvae soon to be in the white buckets with very colorful tubage). 
Collecting urchin eggs (dark yellow mass at bottom).  Sperm is also collected to fertilize the eggs.  The larvae are then used to assess the affects of CO2 on development.  
Urchin in ice...they like it cold down here.
Urchin collection
These urchin experiments are being conducted to assess the impacts of rising CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere and thus the oceans.  The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere has risen dramatically since the industrial revolution, and there is much concern about the impacts of this increase.
Other critters in the lab.  I'm not a marine guy, so when people tell me the names of  these species, I typically can't remember.  These eely things are cool though.
Tub o Fish

The Touch Tank.  I never actually see people touching the animals in here, but I do.  It's a wonderful little representation of some of the diverse life found in McMurdo Sound.

This guy is just a bit smaller than my fist.
Creepy-awesome sea spider.  Touching this guy is freaky but I'm sure its harmless.  Otherwise it wouldn't be in the touch tank, right?


  1. Oooh, I love touch tanks. I'm jealous! I'd be touching everything too, under the same assumption...

  2. I've always wanted to check out one of those sea spiders! Super cool, Jess!


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