Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sea Week is Crabtastic!

We've been busy busy busy over here at Snow Crab Love! An HPLC adventure, a quick trip to Illinois, and Sea Week at NOAA have dominated our schedule! Sea Week is actually 3 weeks of marine animal fun hosted by NOAA. Elementary school children come out to the Ted Stevens Marine Research Institute and learn about fish, whales, marine mammals, birds, and invertebrates. They have a scavenger hunt for animals in our 4 aquaria, walk through a whale's mouth and feed it a "herring" (stick a paper herring onto the stomach of the whale display), learn about global currents on a giant map that they can walk on, and learn how to safely handle some small friends that they can find in the rocky intertidal. If you aren't a Juneau elementary student and missed Sea Week, here's your chance to see some invertebrate friends:

this orange little guy caught my eye and stole my heart
(same as last year!)

a hermit crab perched on some very old barnacle shells

we have a lot of Dungeness crabs, but this fellow was particularly friendly

a decorator crab showing off its beautiful sponge accessories

be still my heart:
we have a real live heart crab in an aquarium! I've finally seen one!!

the educators were able to show kids how sea stars use their tube feet
to manipulate their prey as this guy opened up a blue mussel

here's an urchin chowing down on a little sea star!

The students really seem to enjoy seeing all the fish, playing on the map, and touching the sea cucumbers, scallops, and crabs,and they get to learn about why it's important to keep our oceans clean! Does your community have any fun ocean-themed outreach programs for the kiddos?

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