Monday, February 18, 2013

Mangrove Tunicate

A mystery has been solved.  Last month, when I was kayaking amongst the mangroves in the Florida Keys, I saw some weird orange things growing on the mangrove roots in the water.  I lifted up the root and took a photo of these orange egg-like balls.  I could not figure out what they were, and it didn't help that I kept thinking they were eggs of some sort.

After failing to identify them on my own, I put the photo up on Facebook.  And, within 20 minutes, an old friend of mine commented and told me exactly what they were.  These are mangrove tunicates (Ecteinascidia turbinata), and they are used to produce some types of anti-cancer drugs.  Amazing, huh?

Mangrove Tunicate (Ecteinascidia turbinata)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Great picture! Nice blog too.