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Monday, March 30, 2009

Dancing with the Ghost Shrimp

Dancing with the Ghost Shrimp
. . . and other Adventures of Gus
Written by: Naomi Black

My name is Gus. I am a 13-year-old CEDO volunteer. The Estero Morúa tour is a fun encounter with nature that I recommend. At the estuary’s oyster farm I learned about the estero, which is a safe haven and breeding ground for fish, birds and invertebrates.

In the softer, nutrient-rich mud, we found hundreds of fiddler crabs living in holes along the sand. The male crab attracts a mate by waving his big right claw at them. A female fiddler crab may check out 100 burrows before deciding to settle down with a male!

In the especially wet sand, we went dancing with the ghost shrimp by wiggling our toes and stomping our feet. Everybody was knee deep in mud and laughing. Our dance really did attract the shrimp and they began appearing all around us!

After tasting some of the halophytes (tasty, salt-loving plants), we ran into a couple of oyster farmers checking their oyster beds. While they described with enthusiasm how they take care of their oysters, my mom and I both got a good nip from a curious jaiba (swimming crab)!

In one small trip, I learned amazing things and gained environmental respect for the estuary. My mom and I found this to be a bonding experience since it’s not every day you get to do something this magical. CEDO is dedicated to bringing people closer to nature. I gained new determination to protect the beauty of Puerto Peñasco and its unique environment. I believe that ordinary people are the key to conserving the irreplaceable natural wonders of the Sea of Cortez.

Thank you CEDO!

This trip experience was contributed by a participant on the trip. CEDO is the Center for the Study of Deserts and Oceans and relies on contributions to accomplish its mission of understanding and protecting the natural resources of the Northern Gulf of Mexico. info@cedointercultural.org

Photos: http://picasaweb.google.com/PublishersPlanet/DancingWithTheGhostShrimp

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