COM students show off sharks and specimens at Bay Day

Posted on: May 10, 2014

COM student Kristin LaValle shows a shark's anatomy to curious visitors.

Dogfish sharks and other creatures of the deep sparked children and parents’ curiosity at the Galveston Bay Foundation’s Bay Day Festival at Kemah Boardwalk.

At the one-day event highlighting the wonders of the largest bay in Texas, College of the Mainland Biology Club students and sponsors dissected three-foot-long dogfish sharks, to visitors’ delight.
 
“Who doesn’t love sharks?” said Sheena Abernathy, COM professor and Biology Club sponsor Sheena Abernathy. “Kids enjoyed it and adults wanted see what the inside of a shark looked like too.”
 
COM student Raven Lumampao, of Texas City, enjoyed seeing children’s reactions to the shark and other specimens including a hammerhead shark, moon jellyfish
Portuguese man-of-war and mantis shrimp.

“It was adorable to see the little boys so fascinated with it,” said Lumampao. “They were interested in seeing what parts of the body Professor Abernathy was showing them.”
 
The sharks can be possibly found in the bay, but only reach three to four feet long when mature.
 
“When dogfish sharks breed their young, they sometimes come into bays where it’s more protected,” said Abernathy. “Sharks are oily, and they can use oil for buoyancy. The kids really enjoyed feeling the oil stored in the shark livers.”
 
The Galveston Bay Foundation’s Bay Day Festival is a one-day celebration presented by the Galveston Bay Foundation and other community partners. Held at the Kemah Boardwalk, the family-friendly event includes interactive exhibits, activities and demonstrations that emphasize the beauty and value of Galveston Bay, the largest bay in Texas.

The COM Biology Club seeks to provide hands-on science education and serve the community through Adopt-a-Beach and other environmental and preservation projects.

For more information on COM classes, now registering for summer, visit www.com.edu/register.


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