[I can only wonder what WordPress’ depraved auto random generator of “possibly related posts” will come up with based on today’s post title, but never mind… just know that I have nothing to do with it.]
Last week I got the thrill of visiting the science lab’s touch tank, and of coming nearly mouth to parasitic worm-infested mouth with a fine specimen of Trematomus bernacchii. Alas, I did not have my camera. That time.
Last night I went back to the lab for their Wednesday night lecture series… unlike the generalist Science Sundays, Wednesdays are geared more for the scientific community. The presenter is running a project to drill through both sea ice and bits of the Ross Ice Shelf down into the continental shelf. There are a bunch of reasons to do this, aside from the fact that it is a pretty damn cool party icebreaker, no pun intended, to say “I drill through both sea ice and bits of the Ross Ice Shelf down into the continental shelf.”
They’re hoping to get core samples of sediment that will help us understand more about how the earth has continued to shape and reshape itself. This year they’re just here to survey sites for the following season, when they hope to drill through the 250-meter thick ice shelf and check out some “anomalies” and “unconformities.”
Which is the non-generalist’s way of saying “dude, there’s some weird crap down there. Let’s try to dig it up.”
They’ve been here several summers already, though, and have some cool websites that do a much better job of explaining it all than I’m currently doing, because, truth be told, while the presentation was interesting and the scientist seemed like a nice guy, what I really want to talk about are sea spiders.
So if sediment cores and drill bits tickle your fancy, check out The Andrill Project and also a site where you can look at cross-sections of all the core samples they’ve already retrieved from previous drilling expeditions. The Andrill Project site in particular has a few cool educational things they’ve done to explain their research to middle school kids.
After the lecture, I headed back down to the bottom of the lab where they keep all the critters they fish up from the depths. I was hoping to score a photo of the Emerald rock cod (Trematomus bernacchii) I’d met last week. Well… I wasn’t expecting a whole tankful of them, not to mention some very cool additions to the touch tank. Behold: