The Amazing Sea Hares

Kevin from the neurobiology lab took several students including myself on a tour of his lab.  He is currently working with Sea Hares in his research.  Sea Hares are from the class: gastropoda ; phylum: Mollusca. They resemble a snail but larger and without the hard shell.  Sea Hares are found in California waters around San Diego.  They have soft bodies and an internal soft shell. These creatures also have a radula which projects, closes and retracts to obtain its prey. Rhinophores, two long projections, present on the head of Sea Hares resemble “hare ears.” Sea Hares adaptation for defense against predators is inking such as an octopus does for protection and distraction. I observed a “sea hare” inking. The water turned a deep purple hue. These awesome and interesting Sea Hares are used in neurobiology investigations because their large axons(are part of the nerve cells) are easily located and seen.

Who We Are

Kevin (guide),Coleman,Adriane, Isabel Garza (me) ,and two others

What We Did

We toured the neurobiology lab. We listened, we observed, we made inquiries, and we had the opportunity to engage in hands on experiences.

What We Learned

We learned “Sea Hares” are simple organisms with prominent nerve cell axons which are an excellent specimen for neurobiology investigations.  The Sea Hare unlike other organisms use their defense adaptation “inking” as a distraction. The ink has a sweet smell attracting the predator in this case the spiny lobster. The lobster is attracted to the sweet smell and follows the ink.  While the predator is distracted the sea hare is able to escape.

Questions We Have

The question was asked: Would this research help to find out more about disorders such as ADD, and ADHD, and the answer was yes, but with more extensive research and investigations.

Connections to Teaching

This informs students how researching, and investigating leads to finding solutions. Students are motivated to learn when the teaching style is made interesting and exciting for them through hands on experience.