Friday, March 11, 2011

Save Our Seas Shark Centre

Earlier this week we had a fun educational outing to the Save Our Seas Shark Centre in Kalk Bay. Their mission is to encourage protection, conservation and the sustainable use of sharks worldwide through research, education and awareness. What made it even more fun was that hubby was able to join us on the outing and be the official photographer!

Paul, the educator at the centre, also happened to be an old friend of my husbands. He showed the kids around the shark centre and gave us a very informative talk. The kids had the opportunity to handle shark skin and feel the rough denticles that we had learned about last year in our Marine Studies. They also saw sharks egg cases as well as shark jaws with all the rows of teeth. Paul managed to keep us all interested, right from the youngest to the oldest.

The highlight of the outing was the time spent on the beach across the road from the Shark Centre. It is a marine reserve so we could not remove anything from the area, but the children were allowed to handle the sea creatures as long as they put them back exactly where they found them.
It was low tide and the rock pools , teeming with colourful life were exposed for our pleasure! Paul taught us about the intertidal zone and revealed the magical world of the rock pools to us. The children were given a checklist of things to find and had a great time discovering them. It was great to have Paul share his knowledge with us. We were all fascinated and I am sure we could have spent all day there enjoying the wonders of creation. An octopus, hiding under a rock caused great excitement!

K was very observant and found a number of 6 legged cushion stars. This is not the norm as star fish are supposed to have 5 legs. Paul was fascinated by this and will be sending some photos to an expert to discover what has caused them to have 6 legs.

The sea cucumbers were like large squishy slugs...not my kind of fun!

We hunted for the giant chitons and eventually found plenty. I have never seen these before so it was great to discover them. The pear limpets covering the rocks were abundant.

I love the rich colours the creator chose for the anemones and sea urchins.

Of course, we ended off our wonderful morning with a trip to the ice cafe . Cinnamon and Rooibos ice cream for me!

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