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Squirt here with an update from the last cruise! Our favorite scientists have been home for a couple weeks now and have sent over a report from their travels.
The team was able to complete 17 trawls on their last cruise and collected over 10,000 specimens! With each trawl they were able to conduct 17 CTD drops. The CTD measures the water's conductivity, temperature, and density. Additional sensors have been added that also record oxygen, florescence, and pH levels. It travels as deep as 1,500 meters but will take measurements at different depths for the scientists. When the CTD reaches a certain depth, one of the grey chambers (niskin bottles) will open, fill, and close with water from that depth in the water column.
Here is an image of the CTD
The team was also able to pick up their glider, Murphy, who was out collecting data for twelve days! Each scientist is now back home and working through their data and all those specimens!
I can't wait to see what they learn! Until next time!
Hello Kiddos! Squirt here with another update from the Point Sur!
Yesterday, the crew had a visitor while they were trying to get the nets of the MOCNESS back in the water. This juvenile brown pelican was hanging around the boat looking for an easy meal! Have you seen any brown pelican when you visit the coast?
The team also had some really unique and special finds in the MOCNESS! They were able to pull up a "Deceitful Dreamer." The name, according to fishbase, comes from describing a deceitful little fish that manipulates its prey with the "bait" on its forehead. This fish in particular has only been seen 23 times by people! Isn't that crazy?! To think, that in all the time we've spent researching our oceans, we still haven't discovered or seen many of our discoveries we've made as often as people may think. That's part of the reason why it's so important to maintain the health of our oceans and to continue to study them! After all, you could be the next researcher!
The last fish I'll introduce has an interesting adaptation to living in the depths of the ocean. Meet the Glasshead Barreleye! These fish can see things in the water column directly above them through their primary eyes and they can also see bioluminescence below them by using their curved, mirror-like lenses and retinas below each primary eye. Can you see both sets? These fish live in the twilight zone of the ocean and are one of the few species that does not migrate towards the surface to feed at night, instead it chooses to stay in the depths all day and all night.
Hey Kids! Squirt here with more updates from the DEEPEND crew!
The scientists have been at sea for an entire week now but the weather has not been working in their favor. There's a video that we received from the DEEPEND team that I'd like you to see! Unfortunately I haven't been able to pull it away from our FaceBook page so if you're not following us yet, you can find it under this link; https://www.facebook.com/deependconsortium/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel
In the video, you can clearly see a crew member struggling to retrieve and secure the sonar equipment. The team that we send out has to be extremely dedicated to the work they are doing. Imagine having to work while the weather is causing ten-foot waves! It's only the first week of the cruise so I sure do hope the weather settles down.
Although the weather has been difficult, our scientists have managed to sample their chosen locations (on and off) just like before.
Below you can see a Smalleye Squaretail. These fish feeds on jellyfish and salps!
The team has also spotted another Velvet Whalefish! This whalefish (below) feeds on crustaceans! This fish in particular was close to eight inches in length and was trawled between 1,000 and 1,200 meters in depth!
The team also ran into one of my cousins! Meet another deep-sea squid!
Here is a close-up of a tentacle!
That's all for now! Let's hope the weather calms down for the team!
Hey Kids! The DEEPEND cruise has been extremely productive out in the Gulf of Mexico! They've sent me some photos to share with you and I'm so excited about what they've been seeing!
Below we have an Elongated Bristlemouth! Look at those teeth! Did you ever think that so many fish had teeth?! What other fish has DEEPEND seen that have teeth? List them in the comments! You can also clearly see the photophores on the sides of this fish. The scientists have compiled these three images so you can clearly see the teeth, the entire fish and its photophores. Do you remember when we talked about photophores?
The crew also has the chance to see some colorful fish! Below we have a more shallow species most commonly called a Rainbow Yellowtail. Scientists aren't really creative when it comes to naming things, huh?! What would you name this fish?
The team also saw a lot of bioluminescence in the water during one of their night trawls. It urns out that they were seeing Pyrosomes. Each pyrosome is a colony of animals called tunicates which are related to sea squirts. They actually form a tube that can pump water to allow them to migrate up to the surface or down into the depths of the Gulf.
Don't forget to follow the ship! You can see exactly where the team is in the Gulf of Mexico on the home page. We have also been updating our Instagram! If you'd like to see more images from our team, follow us at deepend_gom!
That's all for now! I can't wait to see what the scientists have in store for us tomorrow!
Squirt here with an update from our DEEPEND crew! As you know, the cruise was scheduled to leave on April 29th! Unfortunately, the weather made it impossible for the team to leave port that day. I hear that the waves were ten to fifteen feet high and all the way to the first station DEEPEND was supposed to survey! The good news is that they are now at sea and won't be back until May 12th! That is a lot of time in the Gulf of Mexico!
Here we have a photo of the MOCNESS in action! Do you remember how the MOCNESS works and what the acronym stands for? If not, you can refresh your memory in one of our earlier blog posts under this link; http://www.outreach.deependconsortium.org/index.php/kids-blog/entry/the-mocness-monster
This is one of the very first fish our scientists have encountered in the Gulf of Mexico and it's called a frogfish! This one in particular is a larval, or baby, frogfish. You can clearly see the "fishing pole" (illicium) and "lure" (esca) that have already started to develop.
The whip-nose anglerfishes are pretty amazing fishes! Females of this species can grow "fishing rods" (illicia) that are nearly twice the length of their bodies! Can you imagine? The males, much like other oceanic anglerfishes, look nothing like the females. The top image (black background) is the male and the bottom image (blue background) is the female.
That's all for today!
If you have any questions for the scientists, leave them below!
Hey Kids, Squirt here with some exciting news!
DEEPEND will be going out on cruise number five on April 29th!
The scientist are excited to be getting back into the Gulf of Mexico and have been preparing all their equipment! Each lab has to figure out which people will be on the vessel to represent them and they each have a specific list of tasks they are to accomplish while at sea. This time around our scientist will not touch the port until May 12th, so they are spending two week on the vessel!
Check back in and keep up with us during the cruise to see daily updates from our favorite scientists!