19 February 2006

The First Dissection

Ecology lab may have been a complete waste of time but invertebrate lab was brilliant. We did our first dissections and observations of sponges (Phylum Prorifera), Hydra (Cnideria), flatworms and tapeworms (Platyhelminthes), and sea anenomes (Cnideria). We watched some of them feed (carniverous) and as a result, here's what I learned (other than preservation fluid is about as sweet smelling as smoke in your hair):
- Planeria (flatworms) eat via an extrusable pharynx which is located in the middle of the body so it looks, well, it looks a tad phallic. Anyway, the worm grabs onto it's prey, pulls it close, and gets its digest on.
- Sea cucumbers eat by vomiting up their guts, which encase the prey, and then "eating" it all back in.
- Medusas (the jellyfish-looking stage of a Hydra) capture their prey with stinging nemotocysts (which ejacualte from the ends of the tenticles and look like sperm when stained on a slide) and then stuff it into their oral cavity. We fed our Hydra some little guys called Daphnia and when they are being consumed you can still see the little red Daphia eyes through the milky coloured Hydra.
It should be noted we were doing all this through microscopes (except for the sea anenome) as most of these animals are just milimeters in length. Seriously cool. Next week we're scheduled to do either squid or comparative embyology, I'm not sure. Either way, seriously cool.

Had a good night out last night, the first real one since... since the one with the pictures. A huge group of us converged on the Continental and had really yummy food after waiting 2.5 hours for a table (crab pad thai and lobster mac and cheese). The wait wasn't too bad - cocktails in the rooftop penthouse (glass enclosed) area... they had Pimms! Which was deliciously mixed with champagne and orange juice and oh, yum! We hit up Fado later in the night and I got to dance a bit, which I love to do. I think the hangover means pancakes for breakfast though.. yum.

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