Lab opens for spring students and conferences

Drew setting up the owl pellet dissection station

The marine lab got an early start this May and June with naturalist Drew Bush helping to set up displays starting on Memorial Day weekend. Visitors to the Island were encouraged to examine owl pellets, dissect sea stars or just enjoy the activity in the touch, tidal and 1000-gallon tank. Several new displays also featured an oyster-bed ecosystem and one found at the end of the pier. Additional research projects that were set up included a look at the benthic organisms recruiting to the end of the Island’s swimming dock utilizing the classic fouling plate experiment.

One of the season’s first visitors: a juvenile portly spider crab well decorated with sea weed


The portly spider crab


A juvenile spider crab was pulled up by using a lobster trap at the end of Star Island’s pier. This one decorated himself with hydroids, sponges and sea weed to blend in with his surroundings thus giving him the common local name of “decorated crab.”

A large frilled sea anenome (Metridium senile) found near the rocks at the summer-house on low tide.



A yellow-gilled nudibranch (commonly called a “sea slug”) cruises our do not touch tank looking for a barnacle meal.



The summer’s first mummichogs (commonly called “Killifish”) swim in the tidal tank.