Shirahama Marine Biology Field Trip 2017

At the end of the first year, we have an optional (used to be compulsory) trip to Shirahama. If you don't know what Shirahama is, it is basically a beach in Southern Wakayama which is located South of Osaka. There, we went and stayed at a marine station owned by Kyoto University called Seto marine station or 瀬戸臨海実験所, complete with their own aquarium.

During the trip, we had several tasks, first was Sea Urchin Development, behavioural studies of wharf roaches, decapod dissection, and finally the main was sample collecting for online database.

Our first task was the sea urchin development. Here, we fertilize sea urchins and observe them under the microscope for the whole course of our trip. We had to visit the lab every now and then to observe the development of the baby sea urchins and recording them by drawing on paper.

Next was behavioural studies of wharf roaches. What we did was basically set up a maze and make a report on how they move through the maze. Trials were also conducted to observe the behaviour of the roaches with the antennae are removed and eyes disabled.

The last "trivial" task was to dissect decapods, basically shrimps and crabs which were later eaten in the barbecue session! It was rather difficult for several teams as some of the specimens' anatomy was not clearly documented on the textbooks but we managed to finished it either way. Picture below is my group with the crabs! (Credits to pak bos Clement)

Our group was assigned to the "other phyla", which means all other phyla that are not assigned to other groups comprising of more than 30 phyla.

However, we were only able to collect some 3 to 4 phyla. This group was considerably the hardest because frankly, all worms look the same don't they? Also, they're really small and move really quickly, making observation under the microscope really hard.

The trip wouldn't have been completed without the barbecue and going to karaoke with Kubota Sensei though! Right, I forgot to mention that apparently this Professor sings really well and had an album about animal phyla. Look here:

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling, people sitting, table and indoor

If you're interested in looking at our findings, feel free to see for yourself here:

If you have any questions feel free to message me anytime! Cheers! 


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