Fort Gaines and Squid Dissection

Friday we went, with a homeschool group, to Dauphin Island Sea Lab for a class on marine life. Getting there an hour early, we had time to go through Ft Gaines. It was really fun; we had such a gorgeous day I think being outside anywhere would have been fun, but we enjoyed the trip. There were tunnels to run through, hills to climb, paths, buildings to explore. Just when we got to the museum I realized it was time to get to the Sea Lab for our class, so we missed seeing most of the museum and about 2 more buildings but it was a great visit.

Ft Gaines AL

Ft Gaines AL

One of the Fort's tunnels to run through

The class was well done; the instructor went through Kingdom Anamalia and several phylla of sea creatures. He had a collection of preserved specimens of both vertibrates and invertibrates which was fun to look at and touch. The class ended with a dissection of a squid. My boys teamed up as lab partners and together removed the pen, the eyeball, the beak and opened the critter up. Inside they learned how to tell a male from a female (it was a boy) and found the hearts (3) and the ink. Before cleaning up they used the pen and the ink and tried to write. The tip of their pen was a little bent so it was harder to write with than some of the other student’s but it seemed fun anyway. Both boys had a blast.

Getting ready to dissect the squid

The pen; some people call it a backbone but squids don't have backbones. Who knows what it is?

The beak (the squid's mouth)

A little bit of eyeball, some broken tentacles, the beak, ink...

Cutting open the squid

 We walked along the beach before going home. There were several dozen hermit crabs within a few yards of our exploring. Every gastropod shell we turned over had a crab in it. Wish I still had my tank. I collected some sea glass: green and white pieces. We stayed on the beach too long to make a trip back to Ft Gaines before it closed. We’ll be back.

Dauphin Island beach