Bring a friend, a chair, and a drink to share. All Ages Welcome. Free
Us and Them: What We Have in Common with Life on the Dock
talk and slide show by author-scientist Michael Konrad
At first glance the animals on the dock seem very strange, and certainly unlike us. However, as you examine them more closely you will find that we have much in common. The sea squirt Ciona traps its food in a net made of mucus protein, and eats both the net and the food. We trap the dust and dirt in the air we breath in a layer of mucus, and swallow the mucus. The colonial animal Botrylloides produces new members by budding. Then the old animals commit suicide by a process called apoptosis. Human embryos use apoptosis to form hands and feet. As adults we use apoptosis to eliminate cells that have badly damaged genomes. –Michael Konrad
This book is an informal introduction to marine biology using life on and near a floating dock in a ocean estuary as examples. We look at large and small animals and plants and follow the development of several species from egg to adult. Who eats who defines food chains in the Dock ecology. A major theme is that diversity and total mass increases as the size of organisms decrease: small is where the action is. Anyone can look under the Dock and see their own special community of organisms.