Yesterday we took Simon to the aquarium for the first time. Can a child under a year old get much out of the aquarium? I say the photos speak for themselves.
We met up with my friend Renee, her husband Chuck and their 13 children (yes 13). The last time I was at the aquarium was the summer that we came down for Sam and Chanda’s wedding. I think they have been married for 11 years – and the aquarium has changed quite a bit. I was really impressed with the giant native fish tank that is the in foyer. Even more impressive was the diver inside the tank who had some sort of fancy apparatus that allowed her to speak to us from inside the tank! She taught us all about the native fish of the Puget Sound. Simon had fun touching star fish and sea anemones but the best part was fishing for plankton. I noticed a microscope sitting on one of the tables – it was curtained off so I casually asked one of the aquarium employees how it was used. She told me that sometimes they bring in plankton and allow the aquarium guest to examine it under the microscope but that right now they didn’t have any. I shrugged my shoulders and walked away. A few minuets later a different employee came up to me and said that actually they were going to bring in some plankton now and did any of the children in my party want to come outside and collect a sample with her. Um – YES! So myself and several of Renee’s children headed outside and collected some plankton samples.
Renee, Myles, and Chuck totally missed out because we learned a ton. I thought that plankton was a specific species – turns out its just a generic term for drifting organisms. According to wikipedia The name plankton is derived from the Greek word πλανκτος ("planktos"), meaning "wanderer" or "drifter". Rachel, the aquarium employee, was so great with the kids. She was really patient and let each of them have a turn either casting out the net, reeling it in, or collecting the plankton in a cup. All the while answering questions and teaching us about plankton. She taught us that there are two main categories of plankton – Phytoplankton which are the plants that survive using photosynthesis, and Zooplankton which are animals. (There is also Bacterioplankton which is bacteria but we didn’t talk about it.) The ocean is just teaming with plankton and if you have ever swam in the ocean – especially in a calm water you have probably swallowed some : ) So there you have it the Aquarium is great outing for babies, kids, and adults alike.
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