More work has been done in the past week, the seawater was heated and acidified for our experiments
We also staining our shells so that we can have a better time control for which part of the shell mass is growing under the assigned pH in this experiment. Those shells were separated into different flower pots.
In order to evaluate how the animal adjust the pH inside the shell, we also aim to measure the pH from the extrapallial fluid (EPF), in which the chemical compositions were considered directly related to the formation of the carbonate shell. To measure the pH in the shell, we need to drill a small hole on some of the shell. A segment of pipet tip will be glue on it so that we can keep the entrance for future pH measuring.
To ensure the EPF won’t exchange with the seawater outside the shell, we have to seal the opening. And then put them back to their home!
When you see the shells open their valves like the pictures below or they dig into the sands, they are telling you, “We are happy living here!!!”
After two weeks of efforts, our pH control flow through system is running, and we take the first measurement last Saturday.
Wish us the best of luck for the next eight months. We feel excited to learn how the boron isotopic compositions in the shells relate to the ambient seawater pH, as well as the pH in the shells, do you?