As a birthday present, Jenn gave me two tickets to the Georgia Aquarium, which Allison and I visited this past weekend. The main exhibit is divided into six distinct habitat types, from Georgian ocean shore and freshwater river/lentic species (including an exceptional tank containing the endangered Robust Redhorse (Moxostoma robustum), to cold salt water and oceanic species. The oceanic exhibit is the largest, containing FOUR whale sharks! There is also a hallway display on the capture and shipping of the whale sharks… hence “What Can Brown Do for You?”.
To illustrate invasive species and their ecological consequences, there was a display on Lionfish (Pterios volitans) invasion of the Caribbean and movement up the Eastern US coast as far as New England. I recall seeing some in Cahuita, CR too, although the display’s interactive Google Earth invasion history didn’t depict the lionfish’s migration into Central American coasts. The lionfish display had the most lionfish I’ve ever seen… super dense.
By the way… I’ve moved to Atlanta, Georgia for anyone reading this that didn’t know, although I’ll be headed back to Kent tomorrow afternoon to process some samples and hopefully finish much of my other dissertation work.
The black snapper/Pacific cubera snapper I mentioned as a new Osa species is pictured below. These were caught in Rio Madrigal, near the La Leona field station in Corcovado National Park. Look at the little teeth (third picture), robust shape, stunning color, superficial resemblance to families such as Cichlidae and Centrachidae.
Snapper (Lutjanidae – mostly Lutijanus spp.) inhabit near-ocean reaches of streams throughout Costa Rica. They are generally marine, but will often feed in freshwater and it seems that they dominate the large, fish predator group in Costa Rican streams as a result. There are at least three common species in the Osa Peninsula, where these were found, including Lutijanus novemfasciatus (the black snapper or Pacific cubera snapper). Last year, we caught L. novemfasciatus in Rio Madrigal and recorded a new species for Osa.
I’m unsure of the identification of those below, but they were photographed in Rio Claro, near the Sirena Field Station in Corcovado National Park
Tuesday and Thursday of this past week, the two Vertebrate Zoology sections sampled fish assemblages at Jennings’ Woods. Although Tuesday’s weather was less than ideal, raining and cold, the class caught a new fish that we’ve never managed to catch with seining – a Least Brook Lamprey. Unfortunately, the rain and sampling prevented me from taking too many photographs of students in action, seining and giving the-all-too-important fish call. Here’s a few of folks presenting and observing the classes’ catches.