Brine Shrimp in SF Bay

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On my way back from helping a high school in Menlo Park with SDS-PAGE gel imaging I stopped off at Bedwell Bay Front Park to check out some of the salt ponds.

The super salty ponds didn’t have any obvious signs of life but I did find a pond with a great green shimmer to it and brine shrimp, which I’m familiar with seeing at high elevation in the Sierras but this was the first time I’d actually seen them in the SF Bay.

I unfortunately didn’t have my foldscope on me and was rushing to get back to a meeting, so scooped up a shrimp and took it home so that later I could get a close look at how it propels itself. The image below is the tip of the feeding and swimming appendages from the center of the body:

What material are these “oars” made out of? How does depth beneath the flesh relate to length and what can this tell us about the strength of the material?

Here is a an image of the eye

Why is it dark? Why is the edge of it compartmentalized and does it act more similar to an insect compound eye then one of ours? What are the dark granules to the right of the main dark area?
How to find brine shrimp: I tend to find them in areas where there are small bodies of water not inhabitanted by fish and primarily in the warm summer months.

How these images were taken: I used a glass side with coverslip (precarious) over the brine shrimp with my foldscope held up perpendicular to a desk lamp with an iphone6 attached via the Foldscope magnet system. I then moved the foldscope back and forth by the lamp until I reached a contrast that I liked and took still frames.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Manu Prakash says:

    What an incredible find @Damontighe. Lovely shots.

    On dark areas on the eye; my conjecture is that most multi-lens systems are filled with dark fluids to avoid photons from one lens to contaminate another lens channel. Since most multi-lens systems have only a few receptors per lens; a single photon contaminating a nearby channel will be very bad. This observation is more based on my images of moth eye; in which I managed to smash the eye and leak out the fluid. You will enjoy this old post from Panama:

    Love the scales; and how they are embedded in the tissue. Did you take a video of them feeding?


  2. damontighe says:

    That makes sense about the dark color being a way to contain stray photons. Good insight.
    Wow the moth lenses are really cool!

    I didn’t get a video of the brine shrimp alive unfortunately, the hot car ride back to the east bay appeared to have killed it.

  3. laksiyer says:

    Wow love the clarity of your images.

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