Science on the NATHANIEL B. PALMER

Life Aboard Ship

#19 July 14, 2004

#18 July 11, 2004

#17 July 6, 2004

#16 July 5, 2004

#15 June 30, 2004

#14 June 27, 2004

#13 June 23, 2004
Bouvet Island

#12 June 20, 2004

#10 June 16-17, 2004
South Sandwich Islands

#9 June 13, 2004

#8 June 9-10, 2004

#7 June 4-6, 2004

#4 May 26, 2004

#3 May 23, 2004

#2 May 19, 2004

#1 May 16, 2004
Punta Arenas, Chile

May 14, 2004
Landfall: Visiting Islands in the Atlantic Ocean

June 16, 2004
South Sandwich Islands

May 30, 2004
Falkland Islands

May 26, 2004
Science on the NATHANIEL B. PALMER

June 24-26, 2004

June 15, 2004

May 30, 2004

Questions & Answers
NEWS FLASH 1: June 15 2004:

Snailfish eggs found inside a crab will be kept alive so scientists can study the fish once they hatch
Today we found liparid eggs with living, almost mature embryos in the gill cavity of a crab. We have them alive in a refrigerated aquarium and will try to keep them alive and hatch them, then raise the young (see photo). The search for these was one of the reasons I wanted to participate in this cruise. Another Bulletin will include more information.

NEWS FLASH 2: June 16 2004, South Sandwich Trench:

Today we made a successful tow of a 30 foot otter trawl at a depth of 5400 meters (17,500 feet) on the east side of the trench. This is the deepest I have ever towed a net (nearest was about 5000 meters or 16,250 ft.). The catch included seven grenadier fish and many interesting invertebrates. There were 11 species of sea cucumbers, anemones, several crustaceans and some other animals. More in the next Bulletin.

We did make two successful tows in which we caught some fish, including a more southern (e.g., colder water, if you can consider water above freezing as warm) icefish species we had not yet collected.

We are also seeing the Antarctic phenomenon of giantism. This was described long ago in many invertebrates in Antarctic waters; it simply means that some species (in different unrelated groups) grow much larger than similar species in more temperate waters. For instance, we caught polychaete worms whose relatives up north might be at most two inches long, but here are six to eight inches long; pycnogonids (sea spiders) that usually are small but here are eight to 10 inches across, and isopod crustaceans that instead of being 1/4 long are two inches.

Several explanations for this have been proposed, but no one really understands why it occurs. It may be because the cold temperatures prolong growth, or that there are advantages in finding food if your are large, or several other hypotheses. The fishes we are catching, however, are not giants, but mostly rather smallish. In addition, we collected large quantities of volcanic scoria, pumice, and basalt rocks. The scoria (rough bits of cindery lava) looked to this non-geologists eyes rather fresh, with few animals living on it, very sharp edges, and a very black color.