How strange to call this planet 'Earth' when quite clearly it is ocean. Arthur C. Clarke

Friday, February 26, 2016

OA Experiment Update

As of this morning, 123 snails have drilled and 13 have died. That means 78.6% are done! Now I'm just waiting until the remaining snails stop eating. Hopefully that is soon, but I'm not so sure because three more finished drilling this morning!

This is what a snail basket looks like when the snail has finished eating a mussel. The small 
mussel is open and empty. 

 Often, the snails drill a mussel and eat everything but the muscles and foot. You can see the 
posterior adductor muscle below the borehole in this small mussel.

This is a posterior view of the eaten small mussel. You can clearly see
the white posterior adductor muscle! That is the main muscle that holds 
the two valves (shells) of the mussel together.

These are the computers that control the pH of my treatments.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Mussel foot

Did you know mussels have feet? This is one of my favorite photos from my experiment:

The mussel's foot is that long, skinny dark red/brown organ coming out of the mussel. The snail is under it, drilling into it to eat it. I like to think the mussel is trying to reach up and move away to escape from the snail, but I'm really not sure why its foot is out like that. Plus, it wouldn't even work since the snail is stuck on it. When I touched the foot, it retracted immediately. It's unusual for the foot to be out all the way like that, so I had to take a photo! 

If you are curious, the preliminary results from my experiment are showing no effect of pH treatment on the number or size of mussels drilled. But, it's still going, so who knows what the final results will be!