The EPR Chronicles VI

For background on the EPR Chronicles, see this post. The expedition was also recorded online at the Field Museum during this time (before science blogs!) and includes dispatches, videos and photos!

Sunday 11/10 2:20 am

Today was a little less stressful. I overslept and missed breakfast at 7:30 am & science meeting at 10:30 am. but I owke up in time for lunch at 11:30 am. I worked on some video for a short while and took a tour of the engine room at 1:00 pm with Z, Todd, Kim & Lee Hsiang. The chief engineer was as boring and dull a personality as could be. The machines that run the ship though is quite huge and terribly noisy.

Karen Von Damm and Sabine Gollner dove in Alvin today with Bruce as their pilot. It was mostly for water samples at the hydrothermal vents. They brought back a nice looking chimney top. Peter did his plankton tow tonight finally and we got some great results! We managed 3 small octopus, about 3 mm wide by 5 mm long, a few cubuzoa, mysid shrimp, lots of copepods, perhaps up to 10-15 different species. There was a beautiful deep blue one about 3-5 mm in length. There were fish larvae & even a fish egg and we could see the embryo inside it. We also found 2 different species of fish, very small ones.

The most prevalent were the colonial pelagic sea squirts. They were about 20 mm wide by 60 mm long per individual and formed long chains that drift on the surface with the current. They are transparent except for brown-orangish gut. I don’t now how many individuals form a chain, but I observed definitely 20+ individuals in a chain floating off the side of the ship. I don’t know what a typical number per colony is, they break apart as soon as they are disturbed. There was another pelagic tunicate species that was significantly less prevalent that a bit smaller & had a nice blue gastrointestinal tract. I should get some samples for Tom if Janet will let me.