Sunday, September 03, 2006

Birch Aquarium

On my last day off...um, when was it? Since they're intermittenly scattered throughout the weeks, I can't remember when they are. Anyway, Apollo and I went to the Birch Aquarium at Scripps.

This two man submarine is permanently displayed in the parking lot. It was used to explore the oceans way back when. There was a sign. I read it and forgot it.

One of the whale fountains out front. You can use the people in the background just to the right to help provide scale as to the size of the sculptures.

I like the way the water falls off the second whale fountain. The seagulls like it too. I caught this guy as he was flying away.

This spikey thing is a crab! I've never seen such unusual crabs before, I'm impressed with their crustacean collection even if it is small. They have some gigantic lobers too. I didn't realize how close I was to one of them (he was pressed up against the glass) and all his anntenae flailing around. He was a bit spider-esque and spooked me.

These are Upside Down Jellyfish! Their tentacles and mouths face upwards allowing algae to grow in their tissues. Exposed to sunlight, they photosynthesis and produce food, some of which is eaten by the jellyfish. I was excited to see that little tiny jellyfish which I've pointed out with the arrow. It looks like a mere spot on the glass but it's so cute! I'd guess it's about the size of a pea.

I've picked up a lot of Sand Dollars on the beaches in Oregon but have never seen them alive! They look pretty much the same alive as dead. But check this out, when they're feeding, they tilt up on their edges and poke out of the sand. It looks like they hang out in groups too. If you have a moment, check out this site. Well, I thought it was interesting. :)

Next, we visited this huge aquarium. Check out that huge fish!! I mean, Apollo is a big guy but I think that fish could kick his ass!

I love how their silhouettes look in front of the aquarium.

It seems the Birch Aquariums specialty is lagoons. Isn't this beautiful? They also have a lot of coral reefs. Did you know coral releases sperm and eggs? I thought it was a plant but no, it's an animal!

The second largest clam, Tridacna Derasa, can reach up to 20 inches. These suckers are huge. Think of all the clam chowder you could make! :)


OK, I have never seen a Cuttlefish before. I didn't even know they existed. They're so odd looking, we spent a lot of time gazing into their tank.

I mean, look at them - if you couldn't tell, there's one with his back to us near the sand. Freaky little creatures. Their internal shell is the cuttlebone..yes that's right, that thing people buy for their caged birds.

What, no more photos? Well...let's just say that the aquarium wasn't as exciting as I had hoped it would be. Their lagoon section was pretty cool but when it came to fish or sharks, there wasn't much to see. The aquarium in San Francisco has a huge aquarium that you can walk through, and I mean, you're totally surrounded by fish. It starts out with smaller fish and progresses to huge fish and sharks. The Birch Aquarium has a small tank of sharks and two tidepools outside. It also houses one of those scientific learning museums for kids. I wasn't that impressed. But, I did learn a lot from the aquariums so it definitely wasn't time wasted.

1 comment:

Yaya said...

The pictures are beautiful. I can't wait to take Peanut when she is older.