Thursday, December 27, 2012

Aquarium Christmas!

Hi Sea Fans!

Once again, many of the aquariums around the world got into the festive spirit and had Christmas-themed goings on at their facility.  Here are some of what happened this year:

The Deep (England)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rGVvgdDaM0Y&feature=youtu.be

Maritime Aquarium (Norwalk CT, USA)



Florida Aquarium (USA)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_gSKQGNivYs


Two Oceans Aquarium (Cape Town, South Africa)


I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas!

Chat soon
Cheers!
Abby
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Saturday, December 22, 2012

Mexico II

Hi Sea Fans!

I spent quite a bit of time in Mexico so I still need to tell you more.  If you remember, Paty was my host at the Veracruz Aquarium and she made sure that I got to have an action-packed visit.

After seeing the sharks, jellies and marine fish, I got to meet the vet, Alejandro, and spend the day with the baby boas (snakes).

I also got to spend time in the Rainforest Gallery where I had my photo taken with Toto the green macaw and his friends the toucans (I love those birds, they're soooooooo pretty!).



Veracruz is a perfect example of the variety of animals that an aquarist can get to work with.  It's not just the animals under the water, but those that live above the water too.  Modern aquariums and zoos prefer to show ecosystems (all the living things that live together in one area) rather than just one single species (type of animal) in an exhibit because it's more natural that way.

To end this fun day, I went to see Miguel in the water quality lab.


This is one of the most important places in an aquarium because all the animals depend on clean water for their health.  Dirty water and low oxygen water is not something we want in an aquarium so someone needs to check the water every day.

I helped Miguel write down all the data from the water tests, ready to input onto the computer data sheets.
On my second last day, I got to spend some time with the teens from a local high school who visited the Education Department.  Boy did we have fun!


 
I made lots of new friends!
 The aquarium celebrated its 20th anniversary on this day and guess what...I got the honour of eating the first piece of anniversary cake!  YUMMY!!  : )


My last day was the most amazing, it was the day a baby manatee was born!  It was the fourth baby manatee to be born there.  The Veracruz Aquarium was the first centre in Mexico to have baby manatees born in captivity so this was even more special.

Baby and mommy - baby was not even a day old!

A close up of the baby with his mom, Silvia.
Thanks Paty and thanks Veracruz Aquarium for your hospitality!  I loved my stay and am so glad I can share it with the kids of the world.

My friends at Veracruz Aquarium.
So if you're planning a holiday to Mexico, see if you can visit my friends at Veracruz.

Have a great weekend Sea Fans.
Cheers!
Abby
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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mexico!!

Hi Sea Fans!

I have been so privileged, but I won't spoil the surprise, I'll tell you all about my visit from the beginning...

Paty Estrada from Acuario de Veracruz the aquarium in Veracruz, Mexico, invited me to visit and boy am I glad I went!!  My week there was jam-packed full of fun things:

I was straight away introduced to the Director, C.P. Armando Fern├índez R., what a nice man.  



He told me all about the history of the aquarium from before the opening in 1992 up to this year.  If you'd like to know more, check out their website at http://www.acuariodeveracruz.com/history.html

Veracruz Aquarium has fresh water as well as sea water exhibits, they've got dolphins, manatees, sharks, jellyfish and lots, lots more. You can read all about these on their website so I'll rather tell you about what I got to do!  Paty got me a pass to go behind the scenes so that I could join the staff in their day to day work.  The first stop was a marine turtle that had swallowed a hook - poor thing!


It's all in a day's work for aquarists!  Working at an aquarium doesn't just mean that you feed the fish on display, it also means looking after any animals that are brought in from outside that need help like this turtle.

After that, I got to sit up top and watch the nurse shark feed.


They make sure that their hands don't get mistaken for food by using a feeding stick.
Ramon, one of the aquarists, took me behind the scenes while he fed the fresh water exhibits.


He let me feed them too - once I'd washed my hands of course!
Antonio told me about the invasive Lionfish when I went behind the scenes of the salt water exhibits with him.  I also met their Green Moray and fed some of the fish there too.



The jellyfish culture lab is always interesting because that is where you get to see how jellyfish multiply and you get to see how they change as they grow. Claudio was my tour guide here.

Here you can see how the jellies start off looking like a tree (called a polyp).  A whole lot of the jellyfish shape that we know grow and pile up on top of the tree before they eventually swim free.

Checking out the polyps in a beaker.

Jellies, jellies and more jellies!

More containers with polyps.  The sheet inside the container is there for the polyps to attach to.

 I think that's it for today Sea Fans.  Keep an eye out for the rest of my Mexican adventure in the next blog.
Have a great week and enjoy the lead up to Christmas.

Cheers
Abby
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