35/150: A Purple Sea Urchin for Purple Day!

Echinodermata: Echinoidea: Echinoida: Strongylocentrotidae: Strongylocentrotus: Strongylocentrotus purpuratus (Stimpson, 1857)

Today is Purple Day, a day of support for people with epilepsy. We thought we’d share a very purple creature, the Purple Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus). Continue reading “35/150: A Purple Sea Urchin for Purple Day!”

30/150: Hail Hydra! The immortal cnidarian

Cnidaria: Hydrozoa: Anthoathecata: Hydridae: Hydra: Hydra canadensis (Rowan, 1930)

From Marvel movies to Greek mythology, ‘Hydra’ is a familiar word referring to a many headed monster that can regenerate heads for every one cut off. It sounds far-fetched, but in fact, is exactly what the freshwater cnidarian can do. Hydra is a genus containing tubular radially symmetric organisms that are a maximum of 1 cm long. Their tentacles contain the same stinging cells (or cnidocytes) found in anemones and jellyfish, that can fire bursts of neurotoxin when triggered by prey. If Hydra are attacked they can recoil into a small gelatinous sphere to protect themselves. Hydra can reproduce both sexually and asexually, depending on environmental conditions like food abundance. Hydra have a remarkable ability to regenerate after they’ve been injured, growing new feet from head fragments, and vice versa, thanks to their bodies being composed mostly of stem cells. They also appear to be immortal; showing no signs of deteriorating with age under idealistic conditions. Definitely cool! #HailHydra #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

Specimen 08BBCNI-0002 – Waterton Lakes National Park – 8-Aug-2008 – Free Hand. Photo Credit: Alison Forde, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
Image of a live Hydra (Hydra vulgaris). Photo Credit: Proyecto Agua goo.gl/qusius

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID:  SAHYD001-10

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Hydra canadensis

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:AAN4537

Title Image: Specimen 08BBCNI-0001 – Waterton Lakes National Park – 8-Aug-2008 – Free Hand
Photo Credit: Alison Forde, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics

9/150: Fairly Shore it’s a Fairy Shrimp

Animalia: Arthropoda: Branchiopoda : Anostraca: Branchinectida: Branchinecta: Branchinecta paludosa (O. F. Müller, 1788)

Branchinecta paludosa is a species of fairy shrimp found almost everywhere in the northern hemisphere, and one of the only four species of fairy shrimp that are freshwater inhabitants. Most species in the fairy shrimp group have several pairs of swimming legs, which they utilize to swim upside-down, and they tend to live in pools without fish! Continue reading “9/150: Fairly Shore it’s a Fairy Shrimp”

4/150: Rainbows and Death in the Canadian Pacific

Animalia: Echinodermata: Asteroidea: Forcipulatida : Asteriidae: Orthasterias: Orthasterias koehleri (Deloriol, 1897)

Did you see Star Wars Rogue One? Don’t worry if you missed it! Our latest member of our Canada 150 posts is a Sea Star, and it’s a rogue one; the only species in its genus! An uncommon species known as the rainbow star or red-banded star, it is found along the North American coast of the Pacific Ocean at depths of up to 250 meters. Continue reading “4/150: Rainbows and Death in the Canadian Pacific”

A Recap

This has been, by far, the most eventful summer I have had at BIO. My last summer here, in 2014, I was deployed on the BIObus for our trip out west and got so see some pretty amazing things, but this year has been far more jam-packed. I have been out in the field for a variety of reasons this summer. Continue reading “A Recap”

A rare BioBlitz

Hello everyone, today I want to tell you about my first BioBlitz! It was held at rare Charitable Research Reserve on Sunday, August 16th. I have previously visited rare to do some standardized sampling with Dan and Kareina, so I knew where we were going, but as this was my first BioBlitz I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Our BIO collections team had been preparing almost all week for it, so I knew we’d have a ton of fun. Continue reading “A rare BioBlitz”

The ABC’s of ABCA!

Hello again everyone! I’m going to talk to you about the most recent trip the BIObus and her crew went on, where we had a ‘base camp’ in the Pinery, and explored a variety of management and conservation areas within the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority (ABCA). Continue reading “The ABC’s of ABCA!”

RARE Opportunities for BIO

Hello BIObus Blog Buddies! I’m here to tell you this week about a new and fascinating reserve where the Biodiversity Institute has started collecting specimens; rare Charitable Research Reserve. The reserve is over 900 acres of beautiful and very diverse landscape, which is actually conveniently close to my house. Continue reading “RARE Opportunities for BIO”

A “Bug Photographer”

Hello everybody!

My name is Danielle, and if you’ve been following the BIObus blog you may remember me from last summer. I went on a bug collecting adventure to 4 different National and Provincial Parks (Grasslands, E.C. Manning, Gulf Islands and Pacific Rim). Over the autumn and winter months I am a work-study student here at the Biodiversity Institute, Continue reading “A “Bug Photographer””

From No Trees to Old Growth Forests; A Goodbye

Hello again!

Today was our first sunny day in a while, so we were a little more energetic as we serviced our sites, and headed towards a place called Grice Bay for some sampling. We ended up doing some aquatic collecting in the bay, close to where a fresh water river poured into the salt water to pick up a variety of hermit crabs, snails and isopods. Continue reading “From No Trees to Old Growth Forests; A Goodbye”