Field Trip

The last biology field trip of the year for Ernie’s high school class was a trip to Mission Bay to sample the sandy beach habitat.  To do this the kids needed to take sand cores along a transect line from high water to about knee-deep water.

Mission Bay transect
Ernie explaining the sampling technique for the day.

This year ended up being the poorest in regards to animals found.  The most common species found in the cores was an isopod.

Isopod, Cirolana hartfordi
Isopod, Cirolana hartfordi

Most of the larger critters were found by wandering around the beach after finishing the transect.

Swimming crab, Portunus xantusii
Swimming crab, Portunus xantusii
Sand dollar, Dendraster excentricus
Sand dollar, Dendraster excentricus
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3 thoughts on “Field Trip

  1. I’m looking for information on the isopod pictured above. I recently visited two different San Diego bays and I’m positive this is what I saw. They scary part is that they bite. I don’t remember ever seeing these as a kid, and I can’t find any pictures identical to this one.

    • They do bite, they are a carnivorous scavenger. They are common in mussel beds which are in rocky areas. This photo was taken in Mission Bay, while it is a sandy habitat we were adjacent to the rock jetty.

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