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What's this?

Discussion in 'Name that Critter' started by florentny, May 26, 2004.

  1. adshepard

    adshepard Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: New England
    Jim -

    Thanks for the verification. I was fairly certain that it was a mollusk egg case as it was very similar to those we see up in New England, whelks for the most part.

    My dander was up a bit on this as my level of certainty was fairly high and for a few other reasons too.


  2. jlyle

    jlyle Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Palos Verdes Peninsula, California
    The egg case is most likely laid by the West Indian Chank (Turbinella angulata).

    I've deleted the email exchanges from several years ago that lead to an identification, but did find the response from Harry Lee that follows:

    "Probably Turbinella angulata (Lightfoot, 1786). There may be a second species in the area Turbinella scolymoides Dall, 1890, described from the Pliocene of the Caloosahatchee Marl. Turbinella scolyma (Gmelin, 1791) may be a synonym of one, the other, or both."

    I know it looks like a piece of drier hose, but it really is an egg case. If you ever find a fresh one, look very carefully and you may be able to see the little chanks.
  3. Winton

    Winton Nassau Grouper

    I personally am very impressed, I hope your students are paying attention in class. I just barely made it thourgh my undergraduate degree and three years of living in Sharm. I am curious what kind of distribution will your dissertation recieve? Its relevance will be in the understanding of these small orginisims and there importance/contributions in the marine ecosystem? Again, I for one appreciate having an expert willing to share his opinion here, thanks.

    The conch egg case thing makes good sense to me. :06:
  4. archman

    archman Marine Scientist

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Florida
    Dissertations alas aren't widely disseminated much beyond their parent university, where they're placed in the library. Our school's so freakin' massive however (one of the biggest in the U.S.), it'll get significant local access. As of this year all of Texas A&M's dissertations go to electronic format, which I hope will allow much easier distribution.

    If you want true distribution, you must professionally publish your work. The type of journal you publish in dictates it's general dissemination. For me, I'm pressing for the premier deep-sea journal, Deep Sea Research. Other "lightweight" notes and reports I'm drafting for the Bulletin of Marine Science, which caters predominantly to the Caribbean and Atlantic marine biologists. It's more of a general purpose journal.

    All of my research is chosen to fill in distinct gaps in our knowledge of deep-sea biology, derived from personal observations from the expeditions I've been on and holes in the popular literature. I hope to make significant, long-standing contributions to the field rather than work on something obscure and not particularly interesting to the general community. The latter is unfortunately the trend today in the sciences, where it's easy to "crank out" tons of narrow, mostly irrelevant papers. "Publish or Perish" mentalities often suffer quantity over quality; bugs the snot out of many scientists forced to do it by their universities. Fortunately I have two superb professors that agree with my sentiments.

    They're only gripe is me dropping everything in the summertime and running off to the Caribbean to teach marine science, which I'm doing again uh... next week!

    Thank you for your interest. I very rarely discuss my work outside the field, even in such a broad context. You can see a pretty picture of a deep-sea giant pillbug in my profile picture, or visit this cutesy link to see the deep-sea research interests from the lab I work in. There's a photo of me in there with a big deflated urchin, I believe.
  5. rcohn

    rcohn Manta Ray

    So how many years do you expect it will take to complete the doctorate? In my days at URI I was amazed at how long the oceanography candidates were in school.

  6. Mako Mark

    Mako Mark Dive Charter

    I was out this morning with candidates and saw one of these things.

    It is very definately an egg casing not a sea pen as I thought from the initial foto.

    The one I saw was similarly attached to a woody coral and was about 5-6 inches long and firm but flexible to the touch. I believe it was chitinous, but the light colour is deciving. It kinda reminded me of the shark egg casings, but the riges are so different I thought perhaps it could come from a ray or something else.

    I am glad I searched for this thread as the resident experts on squidgy gooey fishy things seem to have nailed it. Thanks archman
  7. drbill

    drbill The Lorax for the Kelp Forest Scuba Legend

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: Santa Catalina Island, CA
    I am a PhD in marine ecology and have published my scientific research internationally, conducting research in kelp forest ecology since the late 60's. Although not an expert in the region as Archman apparently is, I did not think the sea pen guess was out of line although the photo makes it difficult to tell. Glad someone can identify it positively as a conch egg mass. I wouldn't have been able to since it looks nothing like the egg masses of local gastropods like our whelks.

    By the way Archman, being advanced to candidacy is great (congrats) but I found the dissertation to be the most difficult part of my graduate program, and I'm pretty good at writing. It ended up being over 750 pages and took my committee well over a year to read. I think the reason is that despite the scientific breakthroughs in it, it is also a great cure for insomnia!

    The harsh words in this thread were rather disturbing though.

    Dr. Bill
  8. The Kraken

    The Kraken He Who Glows in the Dark Waters (ADVISOR) ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Roswell/Alpharetta, GA
    the egg case of the West Indian Chank, a type of conch.

    Well, there goes my guess. I thought it was a water possum.
  9. Winton

    Winton Nassau Grouper

    Hey Dr. Bill,
    I was on a boat once with a gal very involved with the re-foresting of the Monteray kelp beds (taking photos in San Diego for a presentation), I personally felt it to be a darn good cause, any news or insights?

    Some people stress more than others...
  10. Allison Finch

    Allison Finch Solo Diver

    # of Dives:
    Location: Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
    I grew up in Florida and saw many of these wash up on the bay shore. We always called them whelk egg cases. It could be that the egg cases of carribbean (gulf of Mex, actually) are different from the Ca variety.

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