Avians, Hydrophilic Hearts

Playing I Spy with Piping Plovers

It’s Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus) nesting season!! You have probably started to notice the “symbolic fencing” at some of your local parks and beaches. Plovers tend to nest from mid March to around Labor day. The symbolic fencing protects the nesting plovers from people and vehicles. Once a nest has been established, enclosures are placed around the nest to protect from potential predators. The enclosures have holes small enough to let the plovers through, but not anything else. Scientist then monitor the plovers (from a safe distance) to check if the population is increasing or decreasing. These measures are taken because the piping plover is protected under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and was listed in 1985.

piping plover fencing
An example of the symbolic fencing used to protect plovers. Note the enclosure in the background.

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Hydrophilic Hearts, Mollusks

Queen Conch – A Bahamian Royalty

Picture1This past winter I participated in a Tropical Marine Ecology course at the Cape Eluthera Institute (CEI) on Rock Sound, Bahamas. On my first snorkeling adventure a brightly colored shell caught my eye. It was a juvenile Queen Conch! During our stay we were assigned to present on a conservation topic. Being in the Bahamas I wanted to learn more about the culture. It was brought to my attention that the Queen Conch (Strombus gigas) was an endangered species. CEI was decorated with queen conch shells that had washed up on the beach.  I learned so much about them, and I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that snails hold a special place in my heart. (I would like to blame Gary from Spongebob). This species is predominately found in the Caribbean (so its far from what I call home). It’s important to remember that conservation is something that is necessary world-wide. Continue reading “Queen Conch – A Bahamian Royalty”

Freshwater Fish, Hydrophilic Hearts

The significance of Zebrafish in research

tmp_dd354153f714ce51096c487d5074951d_KTA0Jy_html_7757336bToday our topic of interest is the zebrafish (Danio rerio). This is an organism that holds a special place in my heart. As an aspiring young scientist I was drawn to the marine sciences. I was curious but I was clueless as how to get there. So, I went on to my undergraduate studies pursuing a degree in Bioscience (this was my safe choice). If there’s something I learned its that marine organisms are everywhere in science and math. For example: fish make great examples in anatomy and physiology, plankton are important subjects in microbiology, fisheries make for an awesome example in economics or most math classes. My favorite example? The zebrafish.

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Avians, Hydrophilic Hearts

Great Blue Heron

Recently I have become more interested in birding. Birds are fascinating creatures, and each species seems to have its own personality. The first time I encountered a Great Blue Heron (Ardea harodias) was at one of my favorite local New York State Parks. I was strolling down a marshy beach, and out of nowhere a majestic bird took flight and cruised away. They quickly become one of the favorite parts of my summer hikes.

Great Blue Heron with golden shiner | Photo taken by Tom Davis

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Hydrophilic Hearts

An Affinity for Water

Welcome! I started this blog because I am a lover of the ocean and most bodies of water. There are so many interesting organisms that have mastered living in the water and I wanted to share my love for them. What I post about will range from fishes, marine mammals, microscopic organisms, plants, and so on. Feel free to submit something you would like to learn about.

“There’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater,you realize that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent.”
Dave Barry