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> Favorite Animal
Kevin_McMahon
post May 28 2006, 03:53 PM
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Hi Sam,

Greetings from the top of the ice sheet in Summit, Greenland. We are enjoying following your expedition. Mike, Gayle, and I would like to know if you have a favorite animal that you have seen on your expedition. Do you like the marine mammals or the organisms that are being pulled up from the bottom of the sea? We don't have any animals here on the top of the ice sheet because of the extreme temperatures, although a very hungry and lost arctic fox wandered through camp two weeks before I arrived. The cooks gave the fox some salmon. Then the fox wandered off. I hope the fox found its way back to its home.


Kevin McMahon
TREC Teacher
Summit, Greenland
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Samantha_Dassler_Barlow
post May 29 2006, 09:24 PM
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Hi Kevin,
I am so glad to hear from you! Let's see, favorite animal, hmmmmm...This is a tough question for me!

I have to admit that I was very excited at the prospect of seeing what Patty calls "charismatic megafauna." That would be whales, walrus, polar bears, etc. I was on watch on the bridge forever to see a whale and I saw a whole herd of gray whale at one time. I was once awakened at 1:30 in the morning to see polar bear, so I jumped out of bed, grabbed my camera, and ran outside in my pajamas. I didn't see it, but a few days later, we saw polar bear tracks on a few chunks of the ice floe. I really enjoy standing on the bridge to reflect and observe.

But, since I also have a passionate soft-spot (ha ha) for marine invertebrates, I am always excited to look at what comes up in the trawl and the vanVeen grabs. My favorites from the benthic invertebrates are the big herit crabs that are covered with barnacles, giant barnacles, basket star, sea cucumbers, scaled worms, whelks, and sea stars. If I had to choose just one, I would probably say the basket star. I think there is a picture of it in my photo gallery.

I am surprised that the cooks fed the fox that came into your camp. It must have looked extremely hungry.

Thanks for writing!
Take care,
Sam

PS - Someday, you will have to explain to me the dendrochronology question that I got from you class back at the beginning of my expedition - when you aren't busy frolicking around on the glacier, of course.
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