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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hi all,
It's Tuesday I went out for a snorkel yet again. A friend and fellow VIP has a sister visiting and she asked Chris and me (the resident snorkel experts) to take them out and show them a good snorkel spot.
We chose Timothy Beach, where we went for the turtle research this weekend. There was some hesitation on my part due to the rough weather we had yesterday and some lingering strong winds, but we decided to take a look and see for ourselves how it looked.
The water looked calm, so we jumped in. Now, we didn't have as much time to explore but we had a good hour or so. During which, we were able to show our friends some of the things we had learned names of, as well as got another good look at the jellies.
I noticed today, and am very excited to say, that I discovered upon closer inspection that these all produce bioluminescence! That's right! If you look closely enough, there are tiny little lights that stream from top to bottom of these marble to ping pong ball sized jellies. The colors of the lights flicker and change from blue, to green, to red, to yellow! It was absolutely amazing and so fun to watch. I found this online: "There are two types of chemicals in the bodies of bioluminescent jellyfish- luciferin and luciferinase. When triggered, the chemical luciferin gets oxidized by the action of the chemical luciferinase . When these two react, the result of the reaction is a photoprotein. This photoprotein is the cause of the bluish glow that the bioluminescent jellyfish acquire."
Now, the jellies look something like these here (again not my photo), with no visible tentacles. I've been searching online to identify the species but currently I'm not having any luck. One possibility could be the 'thimble jellyfish' which is small and common in the Caribbean. I'm pretty convinced however that this is not the correct species. But I digress, on to the rest of the day.
We called it quits after about an hour, and returned to a beachside spot for a small lunch. Chris and I dropped our guests back at their house and we returned to campus.
We had a little extra time so we went down to the stairway by the sea to wait. I saw what looked like lots of little bugs crawling around but when I looked closer I saw that they were in fact the smallest hermit crabs I have ever seen! Most were able to skitter away but I was able to gently get this one for a picture. Check this guy out:

As a reference point, it (with it's shell) is not larger than the width of my ring, which is 4mm.

After that, I met up with Kater for a quick hello, and went to take some photos of the newly settled chrysalis' (2) on the giant milkweed that we have been checking in on from time to time. Kater had sent me a message earlier in the day that they were there, so I had to see.
I got these pictures:
(both together)
That brings me to where I am now, back in the room trying to rehydrate and rest up. I have a few more things to do but I'm considering a brief nap- I didn't sleep that well last night.

That's all for now.

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