Old Reefs and New Discoveries

Today’s blog is presented to you by Kayla and Sean!  The start of today was very different from any other day that we have spent here on the island. Rather than ogling at all of the beautiful living creatures of San Sal, we were all in awe of the dead fossilized reef of Cockburn Town from thousands of years ago.   The reef, which was initially underwater, was brought to the surface when the sea level lowered, drying and leaving the organisms that once frequented the reef fossilized for the rest of time.

The remains of what once was a massive brain coral

As we were exploring the ancient reef, we were amazed to find various shells and imprints of organisms cemented into the hard rock.  It was such a remarkable experience to observe the remains of organisms that we have been studying the living form of over the past week.

While all the students were having a wonderful time exploring, Dr. Phillips, being the Debby Downer that he is, announced that we would now be having a “pop field quiz” on the various snails that we had observed the day before.  While waiting in line to be quizzed by KR, students frantically picked up several organisms from the site and quizzed each other on what they were. Many students did very well, but the experience taught us all to stay on our toes when it comes to keeping up to date on field experiences.

Sara showing KR her vast knowledge of nerites and periwinkles

Due to us all acing the pop quiz, obviously, we were rewarded with a trip to town and a visit to the “straw basket lady.”  While in town, students bought several snacks, souvenirs, and even some gifts for all you people back home.

After lunch, all of the research groups headed out to their respective sites to continue work on their research projects.  The data collected for the day provided much headway for our projects and is sure to leave us with much to analyze.

Students browsing through the amazing creations of Mary at the straw market

We finished off the day with a lecture from Dr. Phillips on the native birds of San Salvador.  It was refreshing to learn about an organism that lived outside of the ocean.  Overall, the day showed us that San Salvador has many beautiful and extraordinary things to offer, both in and out of the water.

by Kayla Ward ’15 and Sean O’Regan ‘15

2 Responses to “Old Reefs and New Discoveries”

  1. Deanna Saba says:

    You guys are amazing! I think all that has been shared…..I don’t know if I would have done well on the pop quiz. FYI in the world of working there are pop quizzes they are just titled differently:) That was a great entry thanks.

  2. Lisa says:

    Nice tan! Sara!

    Love ya


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