Saturday, April 30, 2011

Field Trip to South Cove

The morning of April 20, 2011, we, students in the Embryology class at OIMB, made our way to the rocky intertidal at South Cove, located at the southernmost end of the Cape Arago Highway, near Charleston, OR.   We unloaded from the van with buckets, butter knives and small tubes, donned our rain gear, and descended the trail towards the beach.
Our task was to search throughout and beneath the boulder field, exposed by the low tide, for several kinds of organisms; specifically, several types of bryozoans. These included Crisia sp., Flustrellidra corniculata, and Dendrobaenia lichenoides.   Bryozoans are colonial “moss-animals” that can often be found growing under overhanging rocks or encrusted upon them. To enhance our study of mollusc development, we also looked for chitons, and the gastropod Calliostoma ligatum.

We tipped over rocks (and put them back where we found them), and after a couple hours of searching, we had found at least a few specimens of every one of our target species including one colony of the unusual, and rather uncommon on the intertidal, bryozoan Flustrellidra corniculata, which has a brooded lecithotrophic pseudocyphonautes larva (see post by Tony Dores).

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