Day 277: Poison Dart Frog

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We found a big show off in the frog room. This poison dart frog was exhibiting his colorful belly to the world. Within a few minutes he did a slow slide down the glass.

Most of the frog tanks were a game of I Spy. There were several exhibits with frog calls and speakers. The only disappointing part of this was the frog themed jungle gym in the same room. It was so loud that we only glanced at most tanks before skittering out of the room.

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This seems like a weird fun fact. Does anyone know more about this process? I understand dyeing but how for you change the genetics with topical treatment? Very cool.

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Day 276: Crocodilians

wpid-20121221_121520.jpgI’m loving this croco-gator. He was so cool! I suppose in the animal world this would be some sort of stalking or hunting pose. His whole body submerged except for his nose and eyes. Right as I snapped the picture his eyes slid over to stare at me.

The little green leaves completely coated the top of the water, which made his parts above the eater surface, beautiful camouflaged.

As I took this picture, there was a 13 foot alligator behind. He could move but was pretty lazy. Saving those quick reflexes for a real meal.

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Lola and Kit posed with him. Whoof, he was big! A little boy around five was told to stand by the glass for a picture similar to ours and he thought his parents were nuts! He stood about a foot from the glass and looked terrified when they told him to get right up close to the glass.
This child is smart. You don’t snuggle huge wild animals.

Day 275: Deep Ocean Critters

The deep sea room really got my attention because it was so dark and there were eerie blue lights that showed off weird critters. As my eyes adjusted and my nose nearly pressed to the glass I would exclaim as I finally saw the strange shapes inside.

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I have been to other aquariums where the octopus resident had a jar or other treat toy to play with. Maybe this just wasn’t play time, but this octo-friend gave off a lonely and depressed vibe. He was snuggled in the corner as if willing the clock closer to closing time.

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This is some sort of sea cucumber. From random Google searches, my guess is the Johnson’s sea cucumber. They are at least related even if the colors are different. They were fun to look at even if they barely moved. The tank didn’t have any signs up for these cucumbers.

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The giant Japanese spider crabs were really freaky. All legs and huge. It could, gladly, wrap its legs all around me in a morbid cuddling fashion. They were devilish cool, but I wouldn’t want to be a little fish swimming by.

Day 274: Sharks and Santa

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I should have taken pictures of the signs instead of just the tank inhabitants. Because I am 100.4% certain that the scientific name of this creature is Baby Shark.

They were pretty precious whatever they were. I have seen catfish bigger than these guys.
Right next to this tank was a touch tank for a sea urchin. Those are spikes of death. They are pretty soft. Starfish were pretty alien too.

Nearby, we saw fish that could walk around on land using their pectoral fins. Like we might hold our breath under water, they hold water while they skitter around on land.
Another tank exhibited some rather benign looking fish but an informational video showed them shooting water at insects. Archer fish I believe those were called.
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We also saw a brief show featuring Scuba Santa. It was definitely directed towards kids but it was neat to see the shark rays swimming around Santa’s head.

Day 273: The Underbelly

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Not much to way about this fish. Except that maybe he is a bit of a show off. Of all the places to sucker onto, he chooses the archway glass so that everyone can get a good look at his exquisite underbelly.

When I was a kid, I thought the most interesting thing in a fish tank were the fastidious cleaner fish. I still think that if I had to be a fish, being a cleaner wouldn’t be so bad.

I’m not sure what this fishy creature is, but it doesn’t look like it is cleaning….

Day 272: Subterranean Life

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I have seen crayfish fight. This is NOT a picture of two crawdaddies fighting. I’m sure but I would bet a bubble gum stick they love each other. Very, very much.

I was pleased to find this tank of fish and crayfish. Not because of their habits–which was fscinating–but because these are eyeless crayfish and eyeless fish (Mexican tetra, I believe).
I work at a cave so I am obligated to nerd-out whenever I see anything related.

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For comparison, these two crayfish were fighting. I laughed at first because the smaller crayfish had unevenly sized pinchers. Upon further inspection I realized the smaller crawdaddy had won the fight and was eating or brandishing his prize.

So much activity in the corner of one little tank.

We moved on because in the Congo room the decorator had anchored functioning Congo drums at child height…and boy were there children.

Day 270: Paying for Parking

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Apparently, I am an epic hillbilly. I have NEVER seen this style of paying for parking. Hence, the photographic evidence. This is my nurse friend, Lola. In addition to living in the “city”, she heals people with her magical nursing powers and breaks people with her equally awesome Roller Derby powers. Lay Em Lola–Look her bitching self up.
This entire parking lot is based on the honor system. In a city. Laughable, I know. You park in a spot with a big spray painted number then roll on over to the huge panel of numbers, find your slot and shove in some money. See Lola, shoving in the dough.

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For those hard to cram dollar bills there is a special tool that you can see attached to the metal wire for pushing the money into the numbered slot. This is fascinating. How would you be able to tell someone hadn’t paid? Insane, but that is city folk for you. There was a bone chilling cold wind blowing so I had to snatch some pictures quickly before we started our walk to the final destination of our December trip. The Newport Aquarium!  I don’t quite know how to explain how exciting this trip was. My husband and I simply love aquariums. Zoos are alright but they are much more weather dependent. I still fondly remember our special trip to Sea World. We love them. I can’t wait to share our pictures and memories from the Newport Aquarium.