Bolivar Flats is an Audubon Bird Sanctuary and an excellent site
for beachcombing. Because it faces the Gulf of Mexico, we found a variety
of seeds: mango, hickory, black walnut, wild almond, lotus, red bean
and palm. Some of these come from our neighboring countries, but many,
such as the black walnut
and hickory come down the Mississippi River from Ohio.
the Upper Texas Coast Bolivar
Flats is a prime bird watching site. Some of the birds seen were: brown
pelicans, laughing gulls, ibis, egrets, curlews, sandpipers, royal terns,
and many others. At other sites, esp. around the TX City Dike, we found
roseate spoon bills.
The teachers are looking at a blue crab that has recently molted its
outer skeleton, or exoskeleton. Crabs and lobsters are members of a
group of invertebrates that shed their exoskeleton in order to grow.
After they have molted, it takes a few days for the new exoskeleton
to harden. Until it does harden, the crab can be food for other crabs.
of Galveston Texas
Texas City Dike: Hermit crab haven. Hermit crabs gather in large
numbers to exchange their old shells for new ones. Unlike most crabs,
they have a soft belly that they protect by using the shell of a dead
City Dike: There is a variety of life that lives amongst the
rocks. Most notably, sea anemonies. These relatives of the coral adhere
to rock and use thier sticky tentacles to trap food.
Sargassum is a type of floating algae that is found in the middle
of the Atlantic Ocean. This area is appropriately named the Sargasso
in the open ocean, there are no places for smaller animals to hide.
They make use of the sargassum and blend into their surroundings. We
were looking for Sargassum shrimp, Sargassum fish and Sargassum crab.
Sargassum - Fun
Texas City Dike: There is a variety of life that lives amongst
the rocks. Most notably, sea anemonies. These relatives of the coral
adhere to rock and use thier sticky tentacles to trap food.
Here, we are using a forty foot sein net to sample the marine
life at the Texas City Dike. Our catch included a variety of organisms
such as bay anchovies, shad, blue crabs, comb
jellyfish, squid, and shrimp.