A Day at Whitney Labs

On Thursday I took my siblings co-op class to Whitney Labs.  There were only eight students.  We were split up into several groups and then rotated to the different stations.

I was with my  two youngest.  The first thing they did was look into the microscopes.

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They looked at the food chain of different sea creatures. The creatures were taken from the area right outside the lab. The water was a mixture of salt and fresh. The girls were required to draw what they saw. They told me this was their favorite part.

The next room was called The Wet Room. It had several buckets of live creatures. They were so cool looking. We could pick them up and touch them, but the girls refused. I got to hold the horseshoe crab.

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Below is a 16 year old girl, who is homeschooled. She volunteers there at the lab. 🙂

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One of the girls held a Sea star for about 2 seconds. lol

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At one point I was able to sneak back to another station and take a picture of my oldest daughter picking up a Horseshoe Crab.

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The girls did several experiments with snails and horseshoe crabs. Did you know that each female horseshoe crab lays up to 2,000 eggs on the beach? When they are hatched the little critters crawl to the ocean; however, migrating birds then swoop down and take some of  the goodies. Less than 1% survive.

One of the experiments was with flat white worms and Horseshoe crabs. The girls placed a white worm at the base of a Y shaped thing and watched the worm. The worm was suppose to go to the section that smelled like a Horseshoe crab and that is what it did.

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Updated to answer a question:  The flatworms are called Bdelloura.  They have a Commensalism relationship, where the worm benefits,  and the Horseshoe crab doesn’t mind it. The flatworms feeds off of “stuff” under the Horseshoe Crab and also gets protections under there.  The Horseshoe crab does not receive any benefits and is not harmed. 

After the the time in the lab, we went outside and had a picnic at a pond. It was a hot, sunny, beautiful day. We all enjoyed it. 🙂

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6 responses to “A Day at Whitney Labs

  1. What a fun field trip. I love the photo of the homeschool girl wearing the AC/DC t-shirt…my son would be proud since he used to have the same t-shirt.

  2. Thank goodness for beautiful weather on field trip days! What is the relationship between the white worms and the horseshoe crabs?

    Donna, I went back and answered your question in the post. 🙂

  3. Good times! Thanks for sharing the photos.

  4. Thank you Michelle =)

    The horseshoe crab makes me think of the scene in Aliens where the android is dissecting one of the hatchlings. =}

    I haven’t seen that movie. 🙂

  5. you had a hot sunny beautiful day. I want to be there. It got up to 45 today with windchill of about 20. here.

  6. Hahaha, Donna, I saw that movie. You’re right!

    I wish I could have gone on that field trip, but I guess I’m too old to be a student in your co-op. Very cool!

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