|Tubularia in a dish of seawater under the microscope.|
Today, though, I actually found a few individuals! At one site, there were a handful of what looked like red-tipped rose buds to me. I wasn't sure what they were, so I scraped a cluster off with my fingernail and took it back to the lab. No sooner had I dropped the sample into a dish of seawater than I realized what it was: an athecate hydroid named Tubularia. The hydroid's tentacles uncurled slowly, showing their arrangement in inner and outer circles, which is characteristic of the genus. Tubularia and other hydroids use their tentacles to capture small food particles in the water. I think they're very beautiful.
|4' x 8' sheets of lexan take up a lot of the lab!|
I'm going to cut up the lexan into 15 x 15 cm squares (aka settlement plates) as soon as possible. It will require a table saw and likely one person besides myself to manage the unwieldy sheets. I'm looking forward to it, though! It will be a good change from office work and mark one more step toward my experiment this spring.
Onward, my friends! For science!