Thursday, January 26, 2012

Abby and Ed go to the Two Oceans Aquarium

Hi Sea Fans!

Ed has kept me busy, wow!  We've been running around trying to see as much as possible before I have to travel again.  The latest place we've visited is the aquarium in Cape Town.
Me and Ed at the entrance tank.

We were looking for Nemo! : )

A Box Jellyfish - VERY poisonous!!!

We caught up with Ruth who was feeding and cleaning and  in this pic you can see her switching on the lights for the jelly displays.

Ed liked the Sea Stars.

Dennis showed us what plankton looks like.

And he showed Ed how to use the microscope.

I got to see all sorts of things under the microscope, from barnacles to plankton and shark skin.
The aquarium staff check every morning to see if there are any seals that need help.    So many seals end up with litter caught around their necks and the staff help to free them.  The aquarium has even built a special platform where the seals can pull themselves out and sun themselves...and if they have litter around their necks or are hurt, they can be closed in with a gate and it makes it easier for the staff to help them.  Unfortunately, this morning, the seals weren't on the special platform, but Vince went out to help them anyway.  

Here you can see the seals.

With binoculars, we could see that 2 seals had plastic bands around their necks.

Ed and I watched closely as Vince swam under the dock to help the seals.

Vince getting out afterwards - he unfortunately missed them this time, but he said he'd try again later if they came to lie on the dock (which they should).  So nice to know that people will go out of their way to help marine life!

This is how much litter was found entangled around different seals in ONE WEEK!
After watching Vince, I got the chance to chat to Hayley and the penguins she looks after.

Zuki and I had lots to talk about.

A volunteer cleaning the penguin rock work with a high pressure hose...being watched by the Oyster catchers (black birds on the top left)

Watching the African Penguins being fed was very entertaining.

The staff make sure they know who's who so that they can keep track of how much food each penguin eats.

The Rockhopper Penguins were taken for their daily walk down to their swimming pool so we tagged along.

I got to sit close by when the Rockhoppers were fed.
 Michelle heard we were in the aquarium so she invited us to come and see what she does for the crickets (they're the food for the frogs that she looks after).
Michelle preparing fresh vegetables for her crickets.
We got to look inside the cricket boxes.

Baby crickets with their food and water.

Bigger crickets.

Ed checking out Teddy the Western Leopard Toad who was going to be fed some of the crickets.
 Kevin heard we were at the aquarium too and so he showed us how he does the water quality testing.  He tests the water every day to make sure that it is the correct temperature, there's enough oxygen and that the water is the correct pH (this means that the water is not too acidic.  Remember: Lemon juice is acidic so it would have a low pH.).  Aquarists have a lot of work they need to get done in one day, it's not just about feeding and cleaning.


Kevin also showed me one of the turtles he's busy rehabilitating (making better).  It came in very dehydrated (needing water) and had wounds on its flippers but now it's fattened up and looking MUCH better.

The rehab turtle.
Gibbo then showed us the baby stingrays he was acclimatising (getting them used to the water in the exhibit they were moving to).
Cute stingrays!

The fish from Tristan da Cunha (a remote island) that live in the exhibit where the baby stingrays were going to go.
Then we continued with our walk around the exhibits...
This was the biggest lobster I'd ever seen!

A cold water anemone that I thought was very pretty.

Ed watching the native river fish in the ecosystem exhibit.

The Kelp tank - I think this is only one of 2 in the whole world!
Ed was fascinated with the variety of fish in the Kelp Tank.
We ended our visit at the touch tank.  Here you can see Sea Stars and a chiton on the same rock.
 So if you're looking for something interesting to do in Cape Town the next time you visit, why not give the aquarium a visit, it's well worth it!

Have a great week Sea Fans.
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