Sunday, April 26, 2009

Birch Aquarium

My mom, Sarah and I went to the Birch Aquarium, part of the Scripps Institute at UCSD. They have this neat sculpture fountain outside, complete with a dripping whale tale.

The aquarium is situation on top of a hill with a great view of a San Diego beach.

Since it was the first weekend of the month, and I am a Bank of America cardholder still (from my Boston days), I got in FREE. It was a good aquarium- small, but with fascinating exhibits and sea creatures.

I was completely amazed by this octopus. I had never seen one move/swim around in the water before and so it was incredible to watch it for like 10 minutes. Sarah thought it was creepy, but I found it fascinating.

They also had several different types of jelly fish- I hope that I never actually encounter either one in the ocean!

The seahorses also were completely fascinating. They had the traditional type, like the one on the left, as well as one that blends in quite well with the seaweed on the right (can you pick the two out?)

However, these really weedy ones completely stunned me- they actually appear that they have actual weeds growing out of their body!

The aquarium also had a few interactive exhibits that Sarah enjoyed

We also got to hatch our own baby grunions. Grunions are this type of fish that live in sand and hatch due to agitation of the water. During the summer evenings at like midnight, there are literally hundreds that wash up on the beach and you can legally catch them with a pillowcase on certain days and times. We actually hatched several dozen eggs in our little cup- the only problem was that they are REALLY small so I wasn't able to capture them on camera.

I also bought one of the most elaborate pop-up books that I have ever seen. Its called "Sea Creatures: A Squirmy, Scary, Prickly Pop-Up" and it had pop ups of lion fish, octopus, shark, and even the weedy sea horse! I think it was the weedy sea horse that sold me on actually buying the book.

No comments: