01 June 2011

A lesson of taxonomy in the middle of the sea (CSR_2)

While we were navigating a couples of days ago, a peculiar encounter occurred.
What looked like a floating "monster", turned out to be a long thick rope used by fishermen. We recovered it on board, to avoid damages to other boats’ propellers and we started a scanning of the spiral in search for animals. The students on board had fun discovering two species of inhabitants. A crustacean of the Cirriped infraclass, order Lepadomorpha, probably of the genus Lepas.
Than a dozen of multicoloured isopods, peeped off from the rope.
Both the species are typical colonizers of floating objects driven by currents. We released the tiny creatures in the sea and brought the dangerous rope to the harbour.

Francesca Zardin

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