So, what happens when the weather keeps us from getting out there and counting conch? Usually its data entry, catching up on email, lab work, checking the weather forecast, more data entry, checking the forecast again…mostly we’re behind the computer, but sometimes we get a little creative. Chris and Dunte arrived In Sandy Point just in time for the effects of a tropical storm, so they had lots of time to hone their acting skills and shoot an outreach video about one of the most interesting things they learned in their volunteer training…how to estimate the age of a conch. They also wanted to make sure they got out an important message. Take a look and share with people who might be interested!
…can only move this fast! Even though a large part of the conch’s body is one big muscle, they don’t exactly flee from predators. When they’re small they bury themselves in the sand to avoid being eaten by animals like rays and lobsters. When they grow bigger, their strategy is to hide inside their thick shell. Unfortunately for the conch, that big shell may make them more visible to their #1 predator, HUMANS. And where there’s one conch, particularly during the summer mating season, there are likely many more in the area because conchs mate in large aggregations. Hundreds or even thousands of individuals might be found in an aggregation, and all they can do when they see YOU coming is retreat into their shell. And well, we’ve gotten pretty good at getting them out of the shell. Check out this “Great Conch Race”on conchsaladtv.com
DID YOU KNOW?
One way to estimate a conch's age and reproductive status is by measuring the thickness of the lip of its shell.