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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