Very exciting developments with T. bartschi this week! After six days of anxiously watching and waiting, I observed my first burrowing behavior seemingly overnight! Ridges along the ventral edge of the valves (shells) had formed, and the larvae were using them to scrape away at the wood. Debris, likely containing mucus and wood particles, was beginning to coat the larvae as they made their way into the wood. After two days of collecting data on burrowing, it was time to begin my second experiment with 36 new samples of wood, which meant ‘out with the old’. I’ll admit, it was a little heart-wrenching watching those little guys go down the drain, but that is part of the process. The next trial will have the same species of wood, same number of replicates, and shipworms from the same collection location.
Ridges along the ventral side of the shell have formed
Wednesday, Nancy, Richard, and I spent the morning in a skiff up the South Slough retrieving more of Nancy’s test panels. The tide wasn’t entirely on our side, as a few of the panels required some fancy boat maneuvering by Richard. Nevertheless, we persevered in collecting all 7 panels and replacing them with new ones.
On Saturday, our REU group had the opportunity to visit the Oregon State University Hatfield Marine Lab in Newport. Hatfield is a very large facility that partners with six state and federal agencies on vast range of marine research topics. We met with some of their REU students and compared our summer research projects and experiences on two very different campuses. We spent the rest of the afternoon at the Oregon Coast Aquarium before making the drive back down to Charleston.
Trip to the Oregon Coast Aquarium