If you are interested in sea turtles hit by boats, or sea urchins in the wild, or giant sea monsters, I encourage you to read on.
This is my second consecutive post on the monthly series of Aqua! Lots of stuff to show today, and a lot of it is quite cool! I think you’ll enjoy it quite a bit. 😉
I woke up pretty early on the day of the class, and my parents drove me on over to the aquarium. We settled in pretty quickly, and the table seating was slightly different. I sat down again at the loudest of the tables.
They were shouting loud jokes and flicking a deck of cards around. While I didn’t have much against those kids as people, I decided I couldn’t focus with that table, so I quickly and silently changed tables.
More on the evolution of tables later haha.
We decided to take another experiment on what was most common at this time. This time, though, I was not collecting data— I was out in the chilly water, with a net, scouring for the next big thing.
As we collected organisms and fish of all sorts, I was having trouble. I would drag my net slowly, bring it up, nothing. Drag it… bring it up… nothing.
I only found one thing while I was out there.
Luckily, I struck gold! (Not actual gold— it’s just a phrase haha.) I noticed something red at the bottom of the water. I figured it was litter or a stray construction brick, but I decided to scoop it up.
That red thing turned out to be a sea urchin!! Feeling like I had finally accomplished something, I felt quite proud of my discovery. There was a great deal of awe at the sea urchin, and my fellow classmates seemed to like it. (:
Of course, I wasn’t the only one to find something! My mates had brought it a huge variety of stuff. Here’s what they found—
- Some LARGE shrimp! At least, compared to the small ones we found before. (3 1/2 Inches)
- Sea horse
- Baby pufferfish (Fun Fact: Ms. Dana said that this pufferfish, at full growth, would be the size of a basketball!)
- Two Sea Urchins (Someone else found one afterwards! (: )
- Pipe fish
- Hermit Crabs (One Quite Large!)
- A couple filefish. These fish blend in with sea grass by looking like the sea grass. (They swim upright.)
We came back to our room, changed, and had lunch. Here was something interesting— I might be becoming some kind of leader. I was invited by one of my friends named Dmitri to come over to the table where the teachers were sitting. The other loud table was still being loud, and the teachers kept asking the table to quiet down.
Then, people from the loud table started to come over to our table because it was more focused and quieter! Our table began to build haha.
After we had analyzed our data and gone over the main points, we got to talk about EEDs for marine animals in the aquarium.
Don’t be intimidated by EEDs, or Environmental Enrichment Devices, because they are just basically toys for the marine animals.
Here’s the really cool part: We students get to design one! If it’s awesome and gets approved, they can get it made and have it in the aquarium!
That is part of our homework this break in between classes. We have to design our toy. Should be interesting… I’m still deciding what animal to use it for.
To get a sense of what animals we could give EEDs to, we went behind the scenes in a VIP tour to the aquarium!
Here is what they had— and, to clarify, what we could choose for our EEDs.
- Hangtight— Blind. He was hit by a boat and a hook. 😦
- Shelly— Infection on her shell.
- Harry— Partially blind because he was also hit by a boat. What? Lives with the manatees.
These guys are HUGE! It would be awesome to design an EED for them, but Ms. Dana says since they’re so big and strong it would be very tough to get approved.
There were three of these buddies! They apparently need some EEDs. So far, they have come up with a wiffle ball with carrots inside. They have to turn the ball to get the carrots out.
Other Stuff in the Aquarium
- Sea horse
- Sea dragons
- Stingrays (apparently in need of EEDs)
The Giant Squid
So, now for the crazy part of this class. The aquarium is one of the few places in the world to have a preserved giant squid!! It is dead, but it is gigantic!!! It is 27 ft. long and named Molly. In life, when it was all plump and full of food, it would be 37 ft. long!!! And crazily enough, Molly is small for a giant squid! Most giant squids reach 50 feet!!!!
The eye is the size of a soccer ball. The tentacles are extremely long. Crazy!
After that, we went back up to our classroom and concluded the class. We went over the homework and finished up the day:
Famous Moments From the Day
“You always seem deep in thought,” commented one of my friends as I was reading one of the posters on our classroom walls.
I looked up at him and beamed. “Yes, I am often in deep thought,” I said with a nod.
As we were signing out, Ms. Dana started ranting to my Mom about how scholarly I was and how I set an example. It was somewhat embarrassing, but it increased my pride, for sure.
So that concludes the second episode! I hope you enjoyed— It took me a bit to get around to this! 🙂
If you enjoyed, let me know! 🙂