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Posted by on in News

Hey guys! Squirt here! 

Have you enjoyed all the updates from my friend Flat Stanley? I know he is having a lot of fun learning from all the scientists out at sea! They have had a little trouble connecting to the internet but I have some cool updates to share with you! 

Check out this juvenile (young) Flying Fish they encountered! I'm sure Flat Stanley was so excited to see this! 



Here is an adult Flying Fish!


I guess now you can see why they call them flying fish? They look like they have wings, just like birds! Flying fish don't actually fly but they can glide above the water for a while! I hear that several landed on the boat while Flat Stanley and the scientists were out! 


Flat Stanley also had the chance to meet the Cock-Eyed Squid! These wonderful squids get their name because they have one eye larger than the other. You can also see the beautiful colors and photophores (light producing organs) on this squid. 



I'm so excited to see what else Flat Stanley and the scientists have in store for us. 

Until next time! 



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Posted by on in News

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!

b2ap3_thumbnail_small-stanleys-12.jpg       b2ap3_thumbnail_small-stanleys-2.jpg

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.

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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!


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Posted by on in News

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!

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Posted by on in News

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...

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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.


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Posted by on in News

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....

b2ap3_thumbnail_stanley-horse.jpg   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! 

 b2ap3_thumbnail_stanley-car.jpg   b2ap3_thumbnail_stanley-rain.jpg 

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!


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