Entries by Andrew Corso

I.D. Antarctica 2023 – Week #2 Answer

We’re sorry for the delay in getting you an answer for the mystery fish. The last couple weeks at Palmer Station have been especially hectic!  The fish is a larval white-blooded icefish called Chionodraco rastrospinosus (or the ocellated icefish). A few key traits that should have led you to this identification are its circular eyes, visible short, […]

I.D. Antarctica 2023 – Week #2 Mystery Creature

Hello from Palmer Station, Antarctica!  We arrived to Palmer Station just in time to ring in the new year! One of the scientists found a giant rubber buoy floating in the ocean the day before New Years Eve, which is a very sad sight. It’s alarming how much human waste we found each year floating […]

I.D. Antarctica 2023 – Week #1 Answers

Hi everyone! We hope you enjoyed identifying this first round of mystery seabirds and zooplankton.  Mystery Seabird #1 The first sea bird is called a Cape petrel, or Daption capense. This might have been a tough ID because you have to go through most of the sea bird dichotomous key and some traits are relatively subjective. […]

I.D. Antarctica 2023 – Week #1 Mystery Creatures

Hello and welcome to Investigate and Discover (I.D.) Antarctica 2023! We are excited to share our Antarctic experiences and research this year with you all. After some exhausting travel by air and by sea, we arrived in Antarctica on 29 December 2023, but we want to catch you all up on our journey before jumping […]

I.D. Antarctica – Home at Last

Land ho! Pictured above is the first bit of South America we saw from the ship. After a remarkably smooth crossing of the Drake Passage, we made it back to Punta Arenas, Chile. It’s not always so smooth, though! This Quicktime video file (Crossing the Drake Passage, 2017) shows you what my crossing looked like […]

I.D. Antarctica #5 – Answer

Hello! I hope you all had a fun time trying to identify these sea birds.  I’m sure you realized these are penguins – were you able to identify the species?       This is an adult Adélie penguin (Pygoscelis adeliae) standing with its two chicks. They are probably a little over a month old! […]

I.D. Antarctica – Week #5 Mystery Creature

Greetings from Antarctica! Sadly, we are heading back to Chile later this week. Our last stop is at one of the three Antarctic bases operated by the United States called Palmer Station, on the Western Antarctic Peninsula. It is a very cool place filled with wonderful people. The station held a big dinner for us […]

I.D. Antarctica #4 – Answer

Hello! I hope you all had a great week. We had a chance to see some beautiful icebergs. Of all the scenery down here, they are definitely my favorite. Waves carve away the ice to create unbelievable structures.     So, it seems like many of you were able to identify this week’s mystery creatures: […]

I.D. Antarctica – Mystery Creature #4

Greetings from Antarctica! We pulled a special type of net behind our research vessel today called a MOCNESS. It stands for Multiple Opening and Closing Net Environmental Sampling System. It is a very important piece of oceanographic research gear and there are only about 50 of them in the world. We normally send a single […]

I.D. Antarctica #3 – Answer

Hello again!  Did you think it was easy or hard to identify our week #3 mystery creature?  I hope you enjoyed the challenge!  Or did it make you feel like this fish looks? Well, the correct answer for the fish identification is…..drum roll….Pagetopsis macropterus (also pictured above). This species is a member of the family Channichthyidae, […]

I.D. Antarctica – Mystery Creature #3

Hello again! I am especially excited this week because we have caught some larval fishes during a net tow in the bay pictured above. Most adult fishes in the Southern Ocean are benthic, which means they live near the sea floor. However, many of these fishes have pelagic larval stages. So, adults lay their eggs […]

I.D. Antarctica #2 – Answer

Hi everyone!  I hope you had fun trying to identify this week’s mystery creature!  It can really be a challenge to identify an organism from just one photograph – ideally, you’d be able to see the actual creature from many different angles. So…the correct answer is Hyperiidea, or a hyperiid amphipod. Hyperiidea isn’t a species […]