Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Hiya,

Just a quick post today......First an additional bit of information regarding the radula marks on the surface of the shed units. Hopefully you can make them out and if you can, then you will probably notice that they are arranged in a fairly neat pattern.

This pattern emerges because the animal, in this case a limpet, is foraging for food in an area that doesn't contain much in the way of sustenance. Because of this, it searches in a tight pattern to ensure it doesn't miss anything. You can find similar tight search patterns in mud at the ocean depths where there is a low concentration of edible detritus for the organisms that live there.

It is possible to observe the same sort of foraging marks as trace fossils in rocks which are about 500 million years old. By making the comparision, paleontologists can use this information to assist them in making informed decisions about what they consider to be the type of environment that existed at the time the animal made them.

The present is the key to the past!

Second, I wanted to add in a Google earth snapshot of the sites that we've been sampling just so you have a clearer idea of what's being done.

Site locations for biodiversity study



We were surveying here during the recent very hot weather, dressed in long trousers and wellies for protection against barnacle-rash ( if you've ever fallen bare legged against barnacles you'll never do it again), whilst the population of Galway were sunning themselves in swimwear and taking a nice cool dip as needed.

I'm not sure if I'd prefer rain but I definitely sweated off a few pounds during the last weeks.

Continue to enjoy the summer,

Keith

13/08/13 Updated the photo to include the final 2 sites; 10 in total