Wednesday, August 10, 2011

What lies in the lines?

Have you ever wondered who lives in our pipes at the marine science center? Yeah, we never gave much thought to it either, until one day when the flow to our touch tanks stopped. We were forced to look for a reason why and found an entire ecosystem thriving in our pipes. After taking out nearly half a bucket of marine critters in three feet of line, water began to flow again in the tanks. Lets meet the critter cast that so often calls our pipes home.
The bucket full of critters!
Imagine all those critters growing in a four inch pipe!

Marine Worms

Giant Barnacles

Gooseneck Barnacles

Clumps of mussels and barnacles

So what makes our pipes a great place for these marine critters? Maybe it's because of the free buffet of plankton that comes through our pipes every second, the cheap rent or the protection they get from being enclosed in plastic.

Valerie Lindborg and Kelsee our guest blogger
Lab Coordinator

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