Four years ago, we traveled out into the oyster reefs of Alligator Harbor with Dr. David Kimbro. It was both the start of an ambitious new study and of our In the Grass, On the Reef project. Last June, we went back to those reefs with Dr. Randall Hughes as she, David, and their colleagues revisited study sites from North Carolina to the Florida Gulf. In 2010, they sampled the reefs with nets and crab traps, and harvested small sections of reef. This more recent sampling, which unfolds in the opening scenes of our recent documentary, Oyster Doctors, was conducted with underwater microphones. Randall explains how sound became a tool in further understanding fear on oyster reefs.
The research in the following post was conducted while Randall and David worked at the FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory.
Dr. Randall Hughes Northeastern University
A little over a year ago, I wrote about our research project, motivated by a question from WFSU producer Rob Diaz de Villegas, to test whether crabs can hear the “songs” made by their fish predators. At the time, the work had not been published, and so I was not able to share all of the juicy details. But now it has, in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, so I can finally answer with a resounding YES! Continue reading