Saturday, November 6, 2010

Aquarium visit

Last weekend we took the opportunity to visit the Aquarium as I had promised the children I would take them once we finished our Zoology studies on sea creatures. We finished that some time ago but we wanted to make it a family outing and hubby has been working most weekends.

In the warm water tanks, the bright colours were amazing. Perhaps one day I will have the opportunity to snorkel in warm waters and enjoy the amazing colours of these beautiful sea creatures.

What you see magnified on the screen behind Z is none other than zoo plankton eggs. These look like tiny grains of sand to the naked eye.

We looked at our fingers on the screen too...rather frightening since I had just been to the bathroom and washed my hands...there were tiny black dots on my fingers. I think this really hit home to the kids who now seem to be washing their hands more regularly.

The kids enjoyed being able to look at a baleen plate close up and hold it. I didn't realise it would be so huge!

In the touch pool we got to touch and look at star fish, anemones and sea urchins.

Hubby enjoyed using his camera. It was good to see him enjoying all the great photo opportunities.

The cold water tank is one I could sit at for hours.Watching the kelp swaying in the currents as the large silver fish swim in and out is so calming. It has always been one of my favourites.

At lunch time we enjoyed a bite to eat out on the deck overlooking the water. The seals lazed about in the sun and took a dip when they felt like cooling off. The baby seal was so cute.

A highlight of the day was the feeding of the sharks and rays. The sharks are fed first for obvious reasons. The rays hang around patiently waiting their turn to be fed. I have never seen this on previous visits to the Aquarium. The divers came into the tank with some containers of food and they held the hake out on a spear for the passing sharks to eat. Apparently they have a very slow metabolism and will only eat if they are hungry. We were grateful that they were hungry so we could witness the feeding. The sharks swam off with their food and some shook it vigorously before swallowing it whole. They swam round and round returning for more until they had eaten their full.

The feeding of the turtle was amazing too. She has been trained to swim towards the black and white board, and the diver hides her food behind it until she is really close. The diver then lifts the food above the board so the turtle can eat it. Apparently she was a nuisance at feeding time and now she behaves perfectly, waiting until she sees her signal.

Z had fun pretending he was in the tank with the jellyfish.

It was great to see many of the wonderfully created sea creatures we studied during our course. We have started a botany course and it promises to be plenty of fun too!

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