Coral Coral Coral! We have been really busy working in our coral nurseries these last couple of weeks. Kat and our new intern Anni have cleaned and measured all our current coral fragments; we can report some great growth since the last data collection a month ago!
Tool fundraiser update
We are thrilled that our “Tool Fundraiser” has allowed us to purchase a Gryphon AquaSaw! Thank you so much to our generous donors that made this purchase possible! The Aquasaw is a diamond blade bandsaw, and is ideal for precision fragmenting of hard corals. This is going to totally change the way we can process corals to go out to the nurseries.
Tuesday was for fragmenting!
On Tuesday we collected corals from wild donor colonies and brought them back to the Marina for processing. We used the new saw to “micro-fragment” the corals into smaller pieces to grow in the nurseries. The saw makes it much easier to cut the fragments into the perfect size and causes less stress to the corals. The coral fragments were then attached to concrete discs on which they will grow in our ocean nurseries for the next 6 month to a year. Cutting the corals into small fragments stimulates growth, we will also be monitoring and cleaning to give them and even better chance of survival.
Coral planting here we come
On Wednesday, we are excited to announce that we took over 100 fragments of 3 coral species and planted them in our nurseries!! If you would like to help fund our coral reef restoration work, our tool fundraiser is still going! We have several more tools that we need including an underwater drill, that will use for attaching the coral colonies grown in our nurseries back onto our local reef.
November to me, always brings a sense of anticipation. You can feel the summer coming to Costa Rica. In October, businesses take their annual vacation and boats get their bottoms painted November though is the start of the new season. Here at Marine Conservation Costa Rica we are also really excited to get back in the water!
Starting this season, we welcome John Reinbott to our crew. John is a marine biologist and is fresh from a year long internship at the Coral Restoration FoundationTM in Florida. John and I are going to be working closely together on our coral restoration project. This last week we have been looking at the nurseries. We have also been brainstorming lots of ways we can improve on our current methods…and it’s been fun!
We also welcome Anna, our new coral intern from Ecuador. She will be helping us with data collection, maintenance and cleaning. Also building new structures and community education. Looks like it’s going to be an amazing season!
With the new season underway we are excitedly continuing our week here in Costa Rica. We have already established a nursery here in Manuel Antonio and are working hard to expand it and the studies that we are doing on the corals. Our work is an essential part of restoring the reef and we are in the ocean regularly during the week. Whether it is fragmenting, planting in the nursery or completing health surveys on the surrounding areas, the work never stops.
As part of our expanding project we are in need of some special tools to help with the coral nursery. When fragmenting the corals, it is essential that it is done in an efficient and safe way, to ensure that they have the best chance of regrowing once we outplant them back onto the coral reef. Because of this we have a list of tools that would be extremely valuable in enabling us to do that. This includes a diamond band saw and an underwater powerdrill as well as other smaller tools. The total cost for these tools is $1500 and for this, we are turning to you. We are asking for donations to our tool project so that we can continue our work in the best way possible. It is for us and for our oceans.
If you are able to donate anything, please click on the link below and attach your details, so that we can thank all of the generous people that have helped us.
Octopus are some of our favorite squishy invertebrates of the reef. With their flashing colors and unique behavior it is always fun to look them out and find them. Apart from the fact they have 8 legs, (unless you are Hank from Finding Dory), what else do you know about them? Here are 5 fun facts that firmly put them in the awesome animal category!
Octopus have blue blood
Rather than the old boring red color, Octopus have blue blood. This is because of a protein that has copper atoms in it that binds itself to the same amount of oxygen atoms. This is completely different to our blood that has iron atoms in it. This protein is what allows the octopus to survive in very cold and very warm waters because it is transported to its vital tissues around their bodies
How many hearts?
An Octopus has 3 hearts of which 2 of them are pumping blood to the gills and the other one pumps blood to their organs. Octopus need more oxygen than other invertebrate species so their 3 hearts allows for them to have a steady flow of oxygen. Their copper based blood is not as good as iron based blood for transporting oxygen throughout the body so their three hearts compensate for that by pumping blood around at a higher pressure. Busy, busy, busy!
I thought a chicken had it bad..
Females usually lay around 200,000- 400,000 eggs which varies between species. Once laid, the female octopus guards the eggs until they are ready to hatch. After they hatch the females body essentially starts to destroy itself and the cells basically tear through her tissues and organs until she dies.
They could join mensa,
Well, maybe not, but Octopus are considered the most intelligent creature of all invertebrates. They have the largest brain to body mass ratio of any of the invertebrates. There have been many studies on octopus through maze and problem solving that have shown that octopus have long and short term memory. Hey, they can even predict world cup games apparently!
They have been around for a long time
The oldest known fossil of an octopus is 296 million year old. It is called the Pohlsepia. Researchers have identified marks of 8 arms, 2 eyes and even the possibility of an ink sac on the fossil.