Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Pacific Aquarium displays its wonders in Summer of Wonder

Ellis Copeland | 09 January, 2018, 07:25

When the Aquarius of the Pacific announces that during this summer it will have in its facilities many new wonders.

If you take a walk around this place, located in the port of Long Beach, California - about 22 miles south of downtown Los Angeles - you will find with countless aquatic species and birds. But above all, with a maritime museum that always works to have something new and surprising in its facilities to offer its visitors.

A few days ago I went around that place, one of my favorite county angelino-and my son Víctor, too. They invited me on the occasion of the inauguration of the new attractions that the aquarium has for this summer. I came out of it, enthralled, moved; now I tell you why.

We did a guided tour through several points of the museum. The first stop was in the cage of a couple of booms, birds that inhabited Guam until the island was invaded by a plague of snakes that arrived in boats from the South Pacific, back in World War II. These predators killed almost all the bird species in this area.

In 1984, a number of institutions, including the Aquarium and Zoological Association, set up a program to recover the remaining birds. The Aquarium of the Pacific is part of this group, and so it enabled one of its spaces to house a couple of alciones.

It is a small and colorful body bird with a large beak. They are timid birds, I would say, to those who like to hide behind logs and foliage.

Rob Mortensen, curator of the aquarium, told us that only about 130 of these specimens remain on the planet, and who hope that with the program multiply and can return to nature.

Then we went on to two new exhibits at the Molina Animal Care Center, one of sponges and corals, and another of horseshoe crabs. Both seek to explain to the visitor the important role of marine species in the care of human health. Some of these can be sources of medicines and cures for cancer and other diseases.

The purpose of sponge and coral display is to show how these species have been exposed to so many dangers. Its deterioration is due to the warming and acidification of the oceans.

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Some species are attracted to excrement and others have caused miiasis in man and domestic animals (Guimarães and Papavero 1999). According to Pape (1996), most species within the genus Sarcophaga are predators of dead insects, snails or vertebrates smaller.


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An aquarium employee shows the horseshoe crab.

As for the horseshoe crab, I must tell you which explained to us that it is something like a sea flea, but of enormous dimensions. It receives this name by the shape of its u-shaped shell and can be touched.

The blood of this crab, an anthropogenic species that has existed for 20 million years, is used for medical experiments Rainbow trout at its youngest stage.

Then we move on to the impressive new section where it is exhibited in several of its stages - since is small until it becomes an adult - rainbow trout, which spawns in the San Gabriel, Los Angeles and other rivers of Southern California and then return to the ocean. In 1997 it almost became extinct due to the destruction of river beds, disappearance of rivers due to drought and pollution. That is why it was included in the list of endangered species.

Is not that enough? Then go play the hammerhead sharks, the golden rays, see behind the scenes how you feed the animals, drive a vehicle that explores the bottom of the sea or see penguins closely (during June). Or go and see the 3D microscope that lets you see the smallest thing under the sea or watch a movie about marine life.

All this awaits you in what the aquarium has called Summer of Wonder. Neither more nor less.

For more information visit www.aquariumofpacific.org/espanol. Please follow and like us:

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