Sunday, July 31, 2011

Yo Ho Ho, Fun at the Virginia Aquarium

Today was my parents-in-law's wedding anniversary, so to celebrate they took us (Frau Punkinstein and myself) to the Virginia Aquarium.  That's how we do things in this family.  We also had dinner at Bubba's our favorite local seafood dive on the waterfront, but that's neither here nor there.  Here is the Celtic Pumpkin and there is the Aquarium and that's what we are talking about.
This giant blue crab defends the Aquarium from all who would do it harm!
The Virginia Aquarium is divided into a Marsh Pavilion and a Sea building.  The Marsh pavilion has otters and an aviary.
I think this is a double crested cormorant
Ducks, nature's perfect killing machine
The blue bill lets you know that it is a venomous duck...in case you want to use this site as a resource for a school paper
The eye...THE EYE...red, glowing...killing machine

My father-in-law really likes birds, so this was a cool place.   We spent time looking at the birds, saw the otters frolic.
GIANT BUGS!!!
A display in which you walk through a shoreline where everything is 10 TIMES the size of nature.
A fly
Catch this, boys and we eat like kings...
There is a cool bay exhibit as well.  It has separate tanks with puffer fish, crabs, seahorses, and the other animals common to the Chesapeake Bay area.
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Then it was off through the nature trail to the big sea building.
Humpback Acne, the heartbreak of barnacles
That is a model humpback, but I thought it looked severe and street and hard and all, so we took a picture.  Of the big sea building there are precious few pictures, I am afraid.  All the really fun stuff, like the cuttlefish, the octopus, the baby chain dogfish and such are posted as NO FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY.  We did not get any pictures of the moon jellies.  I can't say why, but Frau Punkinstein did note that someone had farted in the jellyfish exhibit.  It was unpleasant.

So instead here is footage of SHARKS!
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The aquarium currently houses two breeds of shark, the sand tiger shark (probably the most featured aquarium shark due to its generally docile personality, its ability to swallow a stomach full of air and float and its ragged-tooth grin, which makes it look fierce) and the sandbar shark.  Although blacktips are common to the Virginia and North Carolina coasts, they were not visible in the tanks.  There is a room where you can touch cownose rays and skates in a pool, which we did.  Then in a encounter pool where a young child was being super-annoying and noisy, a pair of horseshoe crabs were doing it.  The kid poked the male.  That's just not cricket.

All in all, it was a good time.
Keep your pumpkins lit, and please, don't molest the horseshoe crabs when they are getting it on.

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