Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Welcome to Jurassic Park

Today at Blacks Creek the kids and I had the exceptional privilege to come across some of the more interesting inhabitants of the Atlantic coast- the infamous horseshoe crab.

The first of the two we captured was found by myself when walking down to the water first thing in the morning, whilst I was getting things ready for the upcoming day. While it proved to be an easy catch, it nonetheless got me excited for the potential that the kids would catch more, as in my experience, where there is one horseshoe crab others are not too far behind.
Matt holding our first horseshoe crab
While the first group did not come across anymore of the living fossils, they certainly did enjoy holding the one that I had captured. Additionally, they were able to catch numerous American eels, and some of the largest killifish that we had caught to date. They also netted a number of both three and four-spined sticklebacks, species that we have only begun to encounter in the last week or so. All this made for quite the productive and exciting morning.  
The biggest and baddest killifish of the day
The second of our horseshoe crabs was found after one of the kids in the second session felt something beneath the muddied water poking at his calves. After a quick scoop with his dip net, he was surprised to pull up another of the prehistoric creatures. I believe he named it Bob.
A Jurassic hunter with the quarry that nearly took his leg
All in all it was a stellar day of catch and release at prehistoric Blacks Creek. In the last few days we have been encountering species new to our explorers with surprising regularity, providing me with ample opportunity for biological discussion. I can only hope that the boom continues and that we are able to check out a few more horseshoe crabs before the end of the summer.

- Hoping not to return to the present era too quickly, Tom Rebula

No comments: