Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Dubai

Hi Sea Fans!

I started travelling at the end of 2011 and now, 5 years later, I'm STILL visiting friends!  I've been really spoilt, it was only meant to be a year of travels....oh well, lots to see and so many people to chat to.

One of the interesting places that I have visited is Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo, where Zila offered to show me around. (Thanks Zila!!)

When this aquarium was built, it had the largest main window (acrylic panel) in the world! 32.8 meters wide, 8.3 metres high, 750 mm thick and weighing 245,614 kg. It even got into the Guiness Book of Records.

They started with a HUGE tank filled with different fish and shark species and an "underwater zoo" section that housed otters, water rats, freshwater (including the massive arapaima) and marine fish as well as seals.  They have since got an Arabian nightlife section with insects and other animals, a gigantic croc, an octopus, penguins and a special shark section.  Let me take you on a bit of a tour of this place so that you can see what kind of things Zila (head aquarist) does in a day:


First, we get to see what the public get to see - the underwater observatory.  This is the big tank with that extra large window.  The public can also pay to dive in this tank...Zila gets paid to dive in this tank!  The aquarists take turns to feed the animals in this large exhibit and there are different feeds - shark feeds, scatter feeds that are more general and targeted feeds where animals like moray eels are fed.

The submarine tank exhibit where you can see cardinalfish and urchins and other interesting creatures.
You can also try your hand at sonar and find the turtles.
Then we go behind the scenes with Abby to check out the jelly lab where babies (polyps) are grown out for display.  It's quite amazing finding out that things like a temperature difference can make a jelly have babies...watch out climate change!
Every day, Ariel, the water quality aquarist, and Zila have to check the water quality of all the exhibits to mae sure that they are living in a clean home.  Too much poo would change the pH  - not good for their fish!
Who would have thought that you'd find fruit and verg in an aquarium?!  Well, this is the nutria (water rat) food.  I loved getting the food ready and loved meeting the rats even more...
These guys are big.
 I also got to meet the Asian small-clawed otters,
 and the HUmboldt penguins.

And then I got to meet Mango, the rescued Scarlet Macaw who is now a part of the Dubai Aquarium family.

What an adventure, thanks to everyone at Dubai Aquarium!!  Off I go to the next adventure ;)

Sea you soon!
Abby
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