Today we invited the local school children to SWIMS (Spanish Wells Institute of Marine Science, remember!) to have a look at what we have been up to. They really enjoyed sieving for worms in the sand but I think they thought we were all crazy for wearing summer clothes in March!
Above: Diva and Leigh leading a sieving workshop on the beach
While we were sieving with the pupils we came across a tiger shark tooth. Yet more evidence that they are abundant in these waters ... but we still haven’t managed to actually see one on this field trip!
Above: More evidence of sharks - but still no sighting
After the schools children left the team got back to work looking at samples under the microscopes. The big question on everyone’s lips was whether the goat skull we found yesterday had any Osedax on it.
The scientists spent a long time studying the skull and debating the findings. They can see tubes on the skull that belong to a worm but that doesn’t necessarily have to be Osedax.
Adrian is not convinced that it’s Osedax at all. He believes they may have found another polychaete worm from the family Terebellidae.
Above: Terebellidae found on the goat skull
However, if it is Terebellidae then it shouldn’t be living on a goat skull. Usually they live in limestone crevices but the goat skull may be close enough for it to call home. Basically you can see how sometimes discoveries can create more questions than answers! I don’t think we are going to get a conclusive answer before we get back to the Museum.
We only have one day left here in the Bahamas but here are some of the great pieces of footage that REX has shot over the last week.
This is the moment that REX went over the Grand Bahaman Canyon that goes down to 3,000m …
For me, some of the most amazing footage we have seen was when REX went through the purple bacteria in Ocean Hole. Also, look out for when REX meets the goat skull…
Tonight is our last night in the Bahamas. We’re saying goodbye in an appropriate manner – a drink on the beach at sunset!
Above: Our last sunset in the Bahamas