School Email Exchange

How many different kinds of animals have you found living alongside the plastics?

Posted on November 08 2012

Question submitted by George Washington Elementary School

We often find fish living underneath the larger pieces of plastic.  The other animals are actually living on the plastic such as Planes crabs, gooseneck barnacles, nudibranches (sea slugs) and lots of micro-organisms.

You can see hundreds of gooseneck barnacles growing on this pink buoy. We found crabs and sea slugs among the barnacles.

Kristen, Mike and Heidi collect organisms off this large bumper we had just brought aboard.  Mike will send some of the gooseneck barnacles to a lab at SEA where they will be dissected to learn if any of them have ingested plastic.