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River Science: Wildlife

Although none of our students are specifically studying the river ecology on this Voyage of Discovery, the Half Moon still provides us with an excellent vantage point to examine the flora and fauna of the Connecticut River and Long Island Sound.

Our layovers at Niantic Bay, Duck Island Roads, and Old Lyme offered our Zodaic teams ample opportunity to explore marine environments.

Whenever we found interesting specimens, we would collect them and house them in the Half Moon's aquarium for the rest of the crew to observe.

Here's a partial catalog of our collection on this voyage:


Rock weed and sea lettuce.


Fish: Flounder, grubby/sculpin (pictured left), and mummichog (pictured below).

Hermit crabs

Crustaceans: Barnacles, shrimp (see photos below), hermit crabs (pictured)...

...and rock crabs of various sizes (pictured right and below).

We believe that this rock crab molted shortly after being placed in the tank.

Tunicates: Sea squirts (pictured).

In addition, this sea squirt is partially covered by an encrusting sea sponge.

Mollusks (Gastropods): Marsh snails (pictured, with shrimp and barnacles joining in), Atlantic slipper shells, periwinkles, and oyster drills.

Mollusks (Bivalves): Blue mussels, ribbed mussels, American oysters (pictured), and finally...

Mouse over to back off!
An extreme closeup of a live scallop.

...what alien creature is this (and how many crew members did it eat)?

It's a bay scallop (with more shrimp and barnacles in the picture for good measure)! The reflective blue dots are eyespots. Yes, it's looking at you!

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