|Mail Buoy - July 30, 2007
Hi Uncle Rob,
Have any fish or animals been caught in one of the submarines yet?
If so, what were they? And, if not, is it possible?
Sally, age 10
Long Beach, Calif.
We are using the Camper vehicle to obtain biological specimens, including animals.
Because the Camper drifts over the seafloor, it is very challenging to actually catch
the animals. It requires close coordination between the vehicle pilot and the scientist
controlling the camera that is used to spot the targets. Until today our biological specimens
were limited to bacterial mats, which we vacuum off the seafloor with our slurp sampler.
Today, however, we got our first animal - a stick sponge. Sponges are animals that come
in many sizes and shapes. This particular variety grows on the side of rocks and sticks
straight up like a small tree branch, reaching lengths of up to about 2 feet. Look for the
picture on the Dive and Discover Web site!
We have seen a few fish and some shrimp down there. We would love to catch a few
but it is really hard. We'll keep trying, but most likely we'll need different kinds of equipment
to catch things like shrimp and fish that swim in the water.