It’s funny to see the different reactions to fresh material that comes in to the museum; the exhibition team had received some kelp that will be pressed and dried for the new exhibitions (opening fall 2019), and I ducked in to secure some of the fauna sitting on the kelp before it was scraped off and discarded. For the botanists, the animals were merely a distraction that needed to be removed so that they could deal with the kelp, whilst I was trying to avoid too much algae in the sample as it messes up the fixation of the animals.
I then spirited my loot into the lab, and set up camp.
Count me in amongst the people who stare at lumps of seaweed.
How many animals do you see here? Which ones appeal to you?
I have made a quick annotation of some of the biota here:
Let’s go closer on a small piece of algae:
For Luis, the first thing to catch the eye was (of course) the Hydrozoa
Did you spot the sea hare (Aplysia punctata?) Look a bit above the middle of the photo of the tiny aquarium with the black background. Do you see a red-pink blob?
There were also several other sea slugs that I have handed over to Cessa for inclusion in the sea slugs of Southern Norway project, here are a few:
Then there were the shelled gastropods:
Most of these animals will be barcoded, and will help build our reference library for species that occur in Norway. I also hope that they may have helped open your eyes to some of the more inconspicuous creatures that live just beneath the surface?
2019 will see the start of a new species taxonomy project where we will explore the invertebrate fauna of shallow-water rocky shores, so there will be many more posts like this to come!