Tuesday, May 15, 2012

NOAA's Sea Week

The last 3 weeks were "Sea Week" at NOAA's Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute. Hundreds of kids got to come through the labs and learn about some of the sea creatures that call Alaska home. I got to visit too (since I work there) and took some pictures to share with you!

 the touch tanks had many different animals:
snails, sea cucumbers, hermit crabs, and blue mussels to name a few

 two orange hermit crabs (Elassochirus gilli)
hanging with a sea cucumber (Parastichopus californicus)

I was smitten with this orange guy!

 "Oh dear, I've rolled over!"

 a beautiful blue friend

 a darker fellow (Elassochirus tenuimanus)

Hermit crab molt! You can see, because of their soft abdomen,
that the hard parts they have to molt are only on the 
front portion of their bodies! So cool! 

 there were also some sweet lyre crabs

and scallops! Can you see its many little eyes?

The scallops were a lot of fun because they are really quite active when they sense predators, like this large pycnopodia sea star:

I hope you enjoyed the virtual tour of TSMRI's touch tanks!

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