Sea, Sex, and Super Gross Dissections

We got up even earlier on Thursday, and headed straight to the beach after breakfast. Our mission was to gather sea urchins from the tide pools. Using our little knives we scraped them out and put them in a bottle of sea water and brought them home. The goal of this assignment was to observe the fertilization and cell multiplication of the sea urchins. After our attempts to make them ejaculate naturally (by gently rocking them back and forth like the sea) failed, they were injected with a harmless solution that made their muscles contract to force them to. Under the microscope, we looked for the eggs and sperm but it was kind of hard to stabilize the image. We left them to do their thing while we dissected a pig heart, which was super gross. It was strange thinking that we only had one day left in Sao Luis, it felt as if we had just gotten there.