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OEB51 Panama Field Trip 2011

tinyplane   TOR
This tiny plane takes us from Panama City to Bocas del Toro.   The dock at the marine station holds the boats that take us out to our collection sites.
     
flippers   houses
Cleaned flippers drying on the dock.(Photo by Sean Po.)   We pass by these vacation houses on the way to "work" at our collection sites.
     
mangrove   isla
Small mangrove islands in the open ocean are great collection sites.   Isla de los Pájaros is one of our favorite places to find enrusting fauna...and reef sharks!
     
student   CE
Even the Professors help to collect! Gonzalo Giribet...   ...and Cassandra Extavour
     
anemone   anemone
The spindly arrow crab Stenorhynchus seticornis like to hide around sponges.   The sea anemone Condylactis gigantea is one of the most common ones found at Bocas.
     
cuke   diadema
The chocolate chip sea cucumber Isostichopus badionotus is one of the most common echinoderm species in Bocas.   Groups of juvenile fish and crustaceans find protection among the spines of the sea urchin Diadema antillarum.
     
corals   fanworms
This encrusting sponge, likely Cliona delitrix, often grows in close association with or on top of corals.   These fan worms live among some encrusting corals.
     
nudibranch   moon
Many species of colourful nudibranchs live in Bocas, but you have to be patient to spot them as they are very small!   The moon jelly Aurelia aurita looks beautiful and peaceful, but can deliver a sting to bare skin!
     
stars   sponges
This bright red sea star is a common sight in Bocas.   The sponge and sea star diversity is extreme at Bocas del Toro.
     
squid   tunicate
A group of caribbean reef squid (Sepioteuthis sepioidea) sometimes comes to observe our activities.   A large tunicate, likely of the genus Polycarpa.
     
hiding urchin   vase
Sea urchin species like Lytechinus variegatus often camouflage themselves by hiding underneath leaves and sea grass.   Vase or barrel sponges, possibly Xestospongia muta.
     
aplysia   bryo
The spotted sea hare Aplysia dactylomela crawling over some corals.   Bryozoans can be hard to spot in the field, but we found some!
     
boatbeach   empanadas
We take a break on a shallow beach to have lunch...   ...empanadas are one of our favorite lunch meals!
     
CElab   skeletonshrimp
Back in the lab, Cassandra gives suggestions on how to best analyze the samples collected in the ocean.   Back in the lab, Gonzalo takes beautiful close-ups of the smaller specimens that we have collected.
     
cleaner   stomatopod
These colorful cleaner shrimp are often found in association with sea anemones.   This stomatopod was a rare find!
     
eggmass1   eggmass2
Many molluscs deposit their eggs inside of elaborate egg casings - this is one example.   Another example of a mollusc egg case. The small pink things are the developing embryos.
     
snailbros   limpet
Juvenile gastropod molluscs that we liberated from an egg case. They already have miniature shells (the brown part) but are motile in the plankton becuase of their ciliated vella (the clear part).   A keyhole limpet.
     
sloth   birds
Even in an invertebrate biology course, we cannot help but notice the vertebrate diversity, like this sloth that lives by the dock...   ...or these seabirds that perch on the mangrove islands.

 

Thanks to Gonzalo Giribet for most of these pictures.

See more pictures of the Bocas del Toro OEB51 field trips...