Sunday, December 26, 2010

Xmas around the world!

Hi Sea Fans!

Wow, it's amazing how much is going on in the aquariums world wide.  I asked around for a few pics of the Santa surprises around the world and these are some of the best photos I got, enjoy!:

Newport Aquarium, Kentucky USA.
 Santa arrived with seahorses at Newport Aquarium - I guess the reindeer don't like water! : )

Sea Life Aquarium, Carlsbad.
Sea Life did a LEGO tree decorating and some of the animals got holiday cut-out pieces of gel to snack on.

Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo.
 No matter the weather in Dubai, the penguins still get a Santa snowman.

Rainforest Cafe, Westfarms.
 Frogs at the Rainforest Cafe also do Christmas it seems...

North Carolina Aquarium, Pine Knoll Shores.
 Santa and his helpers had funny looking candy canes in North Carolina.

uShaka Marine World, South Africa.
Santa braved the sharks in Durban...

Two Oceans Aquarium, South Africa.
 ...and presented a Christmas card in Cape Town.

Aquarium de Paris Cinéaqua.
Santa also made it to France, red fins and all!

Thanks to all the aquariums who sent pics in, it's been a real treat to see what Santa gets up to in the holidays.
South Carolina Aquarium.
I hope you all had a merry Christmas and have a great New Year!

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Jelly belly

Hi Sea Fans!

It's been such a long time since I wrote last, apologies for that.  My last 2 weeks have been rather hectic.  Christmas time is always like that though isn't it?  November in the aquarium trade is the busiest time for aquarists, not only is it the longest school holidays in the year, but it's the time when EVERYONE is taking their holiday so it's the best time for new exhibits and exhibit changes.  A lot of people don't realise that exhibits change actually, it's such a pity because they think that once they've seen it, they've seen it all...but that's not true!  You can often get a really nice surprise like I recently did at Two Oceans Aquarium, they've got some new jellyfish!!

Talking about jellyfish/jellies makes me think of the Blue Bottles that have been washing up on the beaches.

Copyright H de Maine

Did you know that there are true jellies and then other jellies called hydroids that aren't actually jellyfish?  Well, believe it or not, but the Blue Bottle is actually not a true jelly, it's a hydroid.  Examples of true jellies are the Moon Jelly and the Lion's Mane Jelly.

Moon Jellies.
Anemones, corals, jellyfishes and hydroids are all a part of an ancient group with a history that reaches back more than 650 million years, and with over 10,000 known species. Many of these animals look very different from each other, but most go through two stages in their life cycle - a free-swimming jellyfish (medusa) stage and an anemone (polyp) stage.

Jellyfish have drifted in the ocean currents for millions of years, even before dinosaurs lived on earth. They are found in cold and warm water, deep and shallow. Jellyfish have bell-shaped bodies with tentacles that hang down from it. These tentacles have stinging cells in them that stun or paralyze their prey before they eat them. Inside the bell-shaped body is the mouth where food goes in and waste comes out.

Blue bottles & Hydroids
Bluebottles differ from true jellyfishes in a few ways. The gas-filled float has a number of specialised tentacles, which are actually members of a colony. Some members of the colony are specialised for stinging and capturing fishes and other marine animals, some are specialised for eating prey, and some are for reproduction. Even the gas float itself is a modified colony member.

So now you know, not all the jelly-like animals are true jellies!

Have a great week Sea Fans.

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PS. Researchers recently found plastic inside a jelly's belly!!!  Who would have imagined...check out the next blog for more plastic pollution info and see the pic of the jelly below: