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Saint Michael's Biology abroad
By Emma Fox ('12)
 
 
  Emma about to visit with the sharks (see text for details) during study abroad in Turks and Caicos.  
 

So many things have happened since I first arrived! When I first got here, I was struck by the beautiful color of the water. It's so blue! The visibility is really good, too. You can see hundreds of feet in every direction. We spend a lot of time in the water for class, but we have two optional fun snorkel sessions a week. The divers go out to their sites on those optional snorkel days (I'm just a snorkler). One day while snorkeling in the mangroves, we saw fifteen lemon sharks! Fifteen!! I had never seen so much as one shark up close, and these weren't babies either. They were all at least three feet long (lemon sharks don't get very big though), and chasing bonefish.

The mangroves themselves were alive with all the wildlife chirping and calling from the branches within. A few days ago we saw a little baby hawksbill turtle and a giant spotted eagle ray. The eagle ray is a massive elasmobranch; with a really cool pattern on its dorsal side and a long skinny tail with multiple stinging barbs. Now, we're already on our third ID test...we have to know about 50 different scientific names for assorted corals this week. (I've already learned mangrove, seagrass, invertebrate, and fish species).

Emma is spending Fall 2010 in Turks and Caicos on her study abroad program.

 

 

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