Urchin/Crab Panama Expedition: Day 12

After a rich breakfast we drove to Playa Hermosa to check out some classic tide pools. Right on time, at low tide, we started searching. And we found! A lot. Two hours later we were both smiling and feeling accomplished. I guessed four different species in my little collection tank. Without a break we drove straight to the port to meet a fisherman who will bring us to las Islas Secas tomorrow morning. Google map on Alexandra’s iPhone was confused and led us for 10km on a dirt road through several cattle gates and private properties until we hit a pig transport. The driver yelled at us to turn around. With a bit of luck we finally ended up in the right village and talked to the fisherman and his buddies. Apparently it is going to be very rough tomorrow. Better no breakfast…

Back at the hostel I started making dilution streaks of our cultures, sampling them for DNA extractions and storing them for long-term in glycerol. This was followed by dissections of the new crabs and incubations of their fresh tissues. We are far from done tonight. Some species are so similar that Alexandra has to use a microscope and count the hairs on their legs to figure out who they are. This takes time!

Labwork in my hotel room…

I am going back to dissecting little porcelain crabs now…

Ready for dissections

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