Going Turtling! Weeks 8 & 9: Wrapping up & Exciting Discoveries!

Weeks 8 & 9 were fairly uneventful by capture standards, save for one interesting discovery. In week 8 we captured 10 turtles in total, with the sex ratio being 7 males to 3 females. On week 9, we captured 3 turtles total, with the sex ratio being 2 females and 1 male. Overall, it was a good way to end the field work portion of the project.

Although, there was one day where 3 of our chords that keep the pots to the stakes broke. It was VERY windy and VERY shallow, so building a ziptie chain to hold the pot’s chimney up was a struggle. My partner seemed disgruntled by the situation but I personally thought it was funny. Luckily this situation occurs only days before our last outing, so the pots weren’t in a percarious position for long.

Other than that, there were a few interesting discoveries in those weeks. The first one involved a female turtle with a puncture wound to her shell. Whatever had cuase dthe deformity had somehow avoided puncturing her body, so only the shell was marred.

Later on, we found an even more exciting discovery, that admittedly had very little to do with the project…

IMG_4497

A huge horshoe crab exoskeleton!!

Once again, don’t be fooled by Justin’s monster hands, this skeleton was enormous! It had somehow managed to float from the mouth of the river into our very own Bay 2. Since the creature itself was dead and had almost completely deteriorated from its shell, we took the shell with us and brought it back to the lab! Justin wanted to put it in our lab professor’s chair, but I advized against it. It was a really interesting find and a good way to round out the project!

In honor of the (off-topic) discoveries fo these weeks, here is a link to some info on Horshoe crabs for anyone interested!

http://horseshoecrab.org

(Who knew they had a whoel website dedicated to horshoe crabs?

Anyway, last week of research done, I leave you with only a summary left!

Total (and final) Turtle Count: 78!!!

34 females and 44 males!!

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