Tuesday, December 22, 2015

11th Ocean Sunfish carcass of the 2015 season.

Our 11th ocean sunfish carcass of the 2015 season stranded yesterday on First Encounter Beach in Eastham, MA. Thanks to Allie, her dad Ken, her mom and cute dog, who reported this carcass to NECWA yesterday morning.

Meg, Allie (her dog), and Kayla.

Allie was on break from college and was spending time on the Cape with her family. Little did she know that Krill would put her to work and give her a knife to help with the necropsy. There is no better way to get experience than by doing and how often do you get a chance to do something like this! 

Aluminum tripod donated by Dale and Annette Eldridge.
We were able to try out our new aluminum tripod that was donated to NECWA by Dale and Annette Eldridge. We want to thank them very much for this wonderful donation for it will allow NECWA to safely weigh large carcasses. We also want to thank Krill's neighbor Dick who made the wooden pads and the flexible rod. Without these tools, we couldn't do the job correctly and safely.

Kayla attaching the chain fall. 
Tripod ready for action. 
Krill and Kayla putting the straps under the carcass. 
Lifting the carcass. 
Final product! Getting an accurate weight for the carcass. 

An average sized fish - 462 pounds. 
All of the carcasses that NECWA has examined are juvenile fish. Hard to image a juvenile fish weighing 462 pounds. But this wasn't the biggest fish we have seen to date, just one of average size.

Meg collecting data. 

Kayla measuring the dorsal fin. 
Kayla and Krill examining the pharyngeal gill slits. 
Everyone worked hard together as a team and learned a lot. All the data and tissues collected will be shared with students and professors at Bridgewater State University and with researchers in New England as well as world-wide. By working together with others who are also fascinated with this species, we hope to learn more about this amazing animal that comes to our New England waters each summer to feed on jellyfish. Got to love 'em!

Allie examining the digestive tract.