Wednesday, 14 March 2012

The Darwin Code

When we are running video tows we write of commentary of species sighted as we zip past them. We have to be pretty quick to write down everything as it's shouted out thick and fast by the team. To help make sure we do get everything down on paper we use a variety of codes instead of full species names to speed up the process. These are a few examples, some are from official code lists others are simple abbreviations or common names while some are somewhat more informal!

Sabella pavonina
  • Winona [ryder]: Munida rugosa
  • Peacock: Sabella pavonina (Peacock worm)
  • Nem: Nemertesia
  • Bib: Trisopterus luscus
  • LMH: Liocarcinus holsatus
  • API: Astropecten irregularis
  • OP: The Onion People aka Pennatula phosphorea
Onion Person
The Onion People came about thanks to Ken who at a glance likened the sea pens to sements of red onion. Hence the Onion people came into existence; populating the sea floor, carrying out clandestine operations to sabotage our equipment before we can assess their true numbers!

Of course the informal names are converted into formal scientific names when entered in our data base and they will be checked when the video goes for processing!

Winona Ryder/Munida rugosa