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Flat Stanley has not set their biography yet
Hi everyone! I'm still at sea and am having a great time. I met some new friends today that are just like me - FLAT!! You may know these guys as flounders. These flatfishes are really young and still have one eye on each side of their head. As they get bigger, one of their eyes will rotate to the other side before they settle on the seafloor. Since they live on the seafloor and bury themselves in the sand for camouflage, it is necessary for both of their eyes to be on one side of their head so that they can still see.
We have also collected many other types of fish that live really deep in the ocean where there is no light! The only light that exists there is made by the organisms that live there. This angler fish has a modified fin ray that has a bioluminescent light at the end of it which most people call a lure. They call it that because they think that the angler fish uses the light to lure in their prey. The other pictures show several other types of fish that we commonly collect.
Angler fish Ceratias uranoscopus
Dolicholagus longirostris, Chauliodus sloani, Sigmops elongatus | Sigmops elongatus (black/silver fish), Dysalotus alcocki
We have been very busy out here working around the clock to sample both day and night. I will post more pictures and give you an update tomorrow on our progress!
Hello everyone! We've been very busy sampling the deep Gulf of Mexico and have caught a lot of really neat animals! This is red shrimp (Acanthephyra acutifrons) that lives between 500-1000 meters - that is over 2,000 feet!
When the animals come on board the scientists sort them by type and identify each of them to species. Then they hand them off to be weighed and measured which is where I help out. They even weighed me!
After they have been recorded in the computer, we save them for several different groups who will run further tests on them. For example, DEEPEND team members sequence the DNA from a piece of muscle tissue for each species we collect. This is Max and Travis collecting tissue from the fish.
Well, I better get back to work - I hear the net coming in now! We're still having trouble connecting to the internet but I will try to update you again soon!
Hello! The weather got much better and we were able to load the ship with all of our gear. This is the RV Point Sur. It is a 136 foot ship that originally sailed in the Pacific Ocean for Moss Landing Laboratory but was recently purchased by the University of Southern Mississippi and now sails in the Gulf of Mexico. We use this ship because it has a lot of cable that conducts electricity to communicate with our fishing gear in very deep waters. Below is a picture of me standing on the frame of our fishing gear, a 10-meter MOCNESS (Multiple Opening/Closing Net and Environmental Sensing System). Right now all you can see is the frame because we put the nets on while we're at sea. I'll post more pictures later so that you can see it all put together.
We also had to use a forklift to unload the acoustic transducer which is an instrument that uses sound to detect layers of organisms in the water column. You will see some pictures of this in a later post.
We departed early on Saturday morning and it took about 18 hours to get to our first station. We've been able to collect some environmental data from the water but due to technical difficulties we have not been able to deploy the MOCNESS yet. I will be sure to take some pictures and post again later today or early tomorrow to show you what we collect!
I am glad that we made it safely to Gulfport, MS last night because I woke up to severe flooding alerts this morning! As you can see from the weather radar there is a lot of rain and lightning coming from this storm. They have also shown that a lot of the roads nearby are flooding...
Unfortunately, this means that we will have to wait to unload the gear onto the ship. It may also mean flight delays for the rest of the science party. We have one scientist driving from Florida who will certainly be delayed by the flooding on the highway. I am hoping that the weather clears up before we are supposed to depart! In the meantime, we are dry and comfy in our hotel watching the rain and flooding roadways. The beach front view is not that great, but at least we are not out in that weather! We wish everyone safe travels today.
After two days of driving, one major detour, a bunch of horse farms and a few torrential downpours....we finally made it to Gulfport, MS! It has been quite an adventure already and I have not even boarded the ship yet. Along the way we ran into some pretty bad traffic on I-75 and had to take a detour through the beautiful countryside near Ocala, FL where there are many horse farms like this one....
You can follow my travels on Instagram too - deepend_gom
I had a nice comfortable ride in the van with full control of the radio stations! The only time I got nervous was after we crossed into Alabama and ran into some bad storms. You can barely see the road through all that rain!
This is the tunnel that runs underneath Mobile Bay in Mobile, Alabama. Just think about all the fish that must be in the water just above our heads!
By the time we reached the Mississippi state line it was too dark to take a picture but just an hour later we reached the hotel in Gulfport, MS. Now I'm ready to get some sleep before my big day tomorrow unloading the gear. Goodnight!
Tagged in: 3rd deepend cruise Flat Stanley
Hi everyone! I'm Flat Stanley and I will be joining the DEEPEND Team on their next cruise. I have never been to sea before and am excited to see what types of animals they bring up from the deep ocean! Today we will start our journey from the Fort Lauderdale, FL area to bring all the gear to the ship in Gulfport, MS. As you can see, we packed a lot of gear!
These are the nets that go on the MOCNESS frame and catch fish! Here I am with the DEEPEND team after we successfully fit everything in the van. Now we must hit the road! I will be sure to blog about my trip and post pictures along the way. Gulfport or bust!
Tagged in: 3rd deepend cruise Flat Stanley