Monday, April 30, 2012

Santa Monica, California

Hi Sea Fans!

California is a blast!  I've been having so much fun and there's still so much more to see and do.  Check out my visit to Santa Monica Pier Aquarium:
I got to help out with the food preparation.
 Food prep (Preparation) is one of the most important parts of the day, each animal needs to be fed a specific diet and it needs to be just the right size, otherwise you can have animals starving because they can't fit the food into their mouths!  Some animals, like the seahorses, jellyfish and corals get live food (plankton) but others get dead food.
Tricky working with such a big knife, but it was fun.
Smaller fish get tiny chopped up pieces of food and big fish get bigger chunks.  Some fish are vegetarians or HERBIVORES and they only eat plants so the aquarist needs to feed them plants like Ulva (sea lettuce) or nori (seaweed - like the one you use for sushi but no flavourant, colourant or roasting is allowed, just DRIED).
I got to see all the exhibits inbetween getting some work done too!
The aquarists let me follow them around when they did their daily rounds to check on the animals.  It's really important to check on your animals EVERY makers it a lot easier to pick up on any problems if there are any.
The moray eel seemed to like me! : )
Jose, my host at the aquarium, took me out on the boat to collect organisms like giant kelp.
Jose allowing me to sit in front of him whilst he skippered (drove the boat).

Lucky dip!

After the collection trip, we bumped into some children on the beach.  They were fascinated when they found out that I had come all the way from South Africa!
 I got so cold on the boat that we decided to have a warm up session (any excuse to enjoy a bit of the sunshine and scenery!) by going to Flat Rock in Palos Verdes to check out the rock pools for crabs and snails.
Cool sunglasses, don't you think?

Enjoying the view.
So all in all, it was some good fun and I got to see some more of American aquarist life.  Join me next time for my adventures with the divers at the California Science Centre.

Have a great week Sea Fans!
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