Friday, October 12, 2007

Day 6: Thursday

Today we finally got a chance to walk around in the mangrove forest rather than just snorkeling in among the roots. It was quite a tough task to get out of the boat and actually get on the "dry land". There were quite a few us, me included, which fell in the mud while trecking through the mangroves. We got to see lots of fast moving crabs and sample water to look at the salinity changes as you go deeper into the mangroves. We learved about how the mangrove forest form and about how the salinity of the water increases as you go further in. Unfortunately, the water samples that we took showed the opposite trend in salinity due to the fact that we had about 2 inches of rain the day before.
After climbing through the mangroves we went back to the areas of seagrass/mangroves to finish up the transects. The data that we collected throughout the week will hopefully show us some trends about where particular echinoderms live in relation to the mangroves and the amount of cover and predatpr/prey density.
The rest of the day we spent alot of time with the crab orientation experiments and getting them to work...which they finally did. It took awhile to get the protol just right so that the crabs were not affected by our behavior. But we were alt to figure it out and the crabs began to orientate themselves very nicely in relation to the targets. =) Again, the data that was collected throughout the week is going to be analyzed and presented later. =)
And that was the end of day 6. Most of the gang decided to hed into town for the night to mix and mingle with the locals and to get out of the lab for awhile. Don't worry, there will be more to come about "going out" in Bocas ;)

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