Thursday, April 30, 2009

Baby Hickey!

Time to catch up with another special wee one to me - Baby Hickey. Baby Hickey comes all the way from the Antarctic, went through some adverse moments, yet not only survives, but thrives. I had the opportunity the other day to quickly take some higher resolution photos down the microscope and here they are. I'm a little nervous about doing this too often, as I don't want to disturb the little fella, but wow, he really is fantastic to look at! 

He is not only building his little skeleton to his hearts content, but he also started feeding last week. I've been feeding him every other day from some plankton (collected from the Antarctic) that was frozen while at sea and shipped back to Hawaii. I defrost a little, take some up in a pipette, then gently squirt it out towards his tentacles. It's really a learning experience for me too - how much to give him, how often, how quickly to take the food out of there so it doesn't ruin the water - and the big question - how long is it going to take for him to form a full circle o skeleton? 

I still have another 27 larvae alive in the fridge right now, but none are doing as well as Hickey. None in fact are attached, none are as well developed, and to be a little brutal, i'm sure they're all going to pop off slowly over the next few weeks. So my hope is all on Hickey - keep going little guy! 

My friend Steffi also wrote a blog about Baby Hickey - check it out

Hope you all have a great weekend! 


nicola said...

that is so cool!

DDd said...

I was wondering whether it was named after Al Hickey or Pat Hickey... It seems the former based on Steffi's blog. Having a baby will change your whole life!!

RGW said...

Al, poor guy got up at 5am hungover (or maybe still was a heavy night) to get the paper work to the airport. Normally I don't like naming things after people (for obvious reasons, most die, those that don't are eventually killed to get data), but he was so happy to have one named after him.

I also let my students name the larvae and said one had to be named after Al, needless to say, they choose his last name....:0)