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19 April: Treasure hunting (Scotia Arc Expedition 2013)

By: Dr Nerida Wilson, Category: Science, Date: 23 Apr 2013

This morning we were ready to go trawling at Shag Rocks.

19 April: Treasure hunting (Scotia Arc Expedition 2013) #1

Greg Rouse © Australian Museum

The first trawl was in the water early, and throughout the day we completed a total of 11 trawls. As you might guess, we were pretty tired! But we got all the organisms we’d hoped to find.

One of the targets we were after was a seastar called Porania antarctia. Because this was the last one were looking for, every time we found one, spontaneous cheering broke out.

Also, during the evening we had a visit from two birds not often seen in this part of the world. Two egret-heron type birds came and sat on the deck for a while. The swells were getting a bit bigger, so every time water washed across the deck, the birds got swept along as well.

I wonder what they were doing here? Can any bird enthusiasts tell us about them?

One of the neatest finds of the day was a strange one. In one of our trawls, we picked up a vertebrate bone of sorts. And since Greg was one of the people who first described Osedax, bone-eating worms, he was very keen to take a close look. And indeed, there were some Osedax growing out of the bone. Cool!