Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A day in Shedd Aqaurium

One nice long weekend me and my hubby got a chance to explore the shedd aquarium.

Shedd Aquarium -- Chicago's No. 1 cultural attraction ! This is one of the world largest aquarium.This Aquarium is home to 32,500 animals that swim and crawl and fly. John G. Shedd, is the founder of this aquarium.

Hey,its me going inside the aquarium. Did anyone know what i am having in my bag ???? (Periya muttai...... Hope everybody can see !) Having 2 box - full of Puliyodhare and Thayir sadham for our Lunch. Going to have in the Michigan Yaeri karai

Now, let check what is there inside the bigggggggggggggggg aquarium. We will find Everything wet wherever we walk inside the aquarium. Ground level we can see different kinds of water spices in all kind of waters levels like Rivers, Lakes, Islands, oceans and in Dense forests (Also in different season)

Also we saw the species in Caribbean reef , where we can see the water bodies in all 360 degree circular glass container. This has been awarded for containing 90,000-gallon circular habitat in the grand rotunda.We saw turtles and long fishes, Dotted fishes, long tailed fishes, snake like fishes, Cute color fishes, etc, etc, etc

By the way forgot to tell you one thing :-? we can use camera inside the aquarium but flash should not be used. So that only you can see shilouette not the proper image. Sorry for this I cant help much.
After seeing this we went to the 4D show. Let me try to explain what we experienced there. As you all know 3D show is 3 dimensional effect which you can experience using the kannadi they provide. 4D is the experience which you can feel the effects like cool breeze, rain etc and also if somebody hits on the screen or rats creeping below your legs, these kinda of effects you feel. Its because the seats are wired so well, to give the effect to the person watching the show. It was an amazing experience. I really cant explain in words. Wish everybody can feel the same sooooooooooooonnnnnn in all our near theaters !!!

From there we went to Amphitheater to watch the show : performance of Dolphins, Beluga Whales. How cute !!!! all the Dolphins and the whales are doing exactly what the masters are instructing them and samatha solldra peicha kekardhu. Hope we were watching the show for 30 min. (Paartha time marandhu pochhu, Ha ha ha ....)

Dolphins :
Pacific White-sided Dolphins --it can leap effortlessly to towering heights of 15 to 20 feet, turn somersaults in the air, or belly flop with a dramatic splash. A suspender-like stripe runs down each side, these speedy swimmers rely on the up-and-down movement of their flukes, or flattened lobes of the tail, to propel them forward. Dolphins will eagerly ride the waves of a ship’s bow, and they have clocked speeds of up to 25 miles per hour.

Beluga Whales :

They produce sounds, used to echolocate, or interpret the sound waves that bounce back to discern what food or obstacles are ahead. Echolocation is especially useful for navigating dark waters and finding breathing holes in ice.
Belugas live in the frigid waters near the Arctic Circle. Two layers of blubber pad their stocky, cigar-shaped bodies to keep them warm. Even though adults can grow to 18 feet and weigh up to 3,300 pounds, their skin color, which is slate gray at birth and gradually becomes creamy white, invisibly blends them into their icy background. Naturally sociable, belugas often chase or rub against one another. They travel in pods of three to 10 whales. Calves imitate adults to learn life skills. One trait that raises the bar in their survival is a flexible neck. A beluga can turn and nod its head to find prey, including herring, octopus, squid, clams and crabs—up to 80 pounds of food a day. It will also spit a stream of water to uncover food on the sandy sea floor.

After the show was over, we went directly to polar zone and under water viewing place. It is another wonderful place, to see penguins and Whales, Sea Otters. How nicely they all are swimming in the water. You wont feel like moving from that place.

Penguins suddenly jumps from the rocks and swims, come near to you. Wow !!! that's really amazing.

We will find two very different penguin species — rockhopper and Magellanic.

Among the smallest of penguins at roughly 15 inches high and 5 pounds, rockhoppers
(Eudyptes chrysocome) are the eccentric ones. Their eyes glow red. Eyebrows as bright as egg yolks swoosh upward into long yellow plumes. And they are the only penguins that enter the water feet first, then burst back out and grab onto any perch they can with their beak, flippers, or feet. Rockhoppers, which live in the South Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, are named for their unusual means of self-propulsion. The steep, rocky terrain on which they breed makes it necessary to hop from one point to the next. The birds assemble in small but raucous nesting colonies, with adults braying and tussling over territory, mates and nesting materials. Rockhoppers refurbish the same nest — a ring of smooth stones — every year, with no qualms about stealing nicer-looking stones from a neighboring nest. Though they lay two eggs, rockhopper pairs generally raise only one chick, preferentially feeding the offspring most likely to survive.

The boldly band
ed Magellanic penguins live along the coast of southern South America, fishing the rich waters where the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans intermingle at the Straits of Magellan. Both the birds and the water passage were named for the Portuguese explorer who was the first European to discover them. At more than 2 feet tall, Magellanics (Spheniscus magellanicus) are the largest of the “temperate-weather” penguins — those that don’t live in the southern polar zone — and their range overlaps with that of the rockhoppers. Magellanics are superb long-distance swimmers, and with their powerful paddlelike wings, they can zoom through the water at 15 miles per hour. They often form large hunting parties in search of cuttlefish, sardines, squid, krill and other small seafood. Unlike the boisterous rockhoppers, though, they are shy on land and withdraw to burrows under rocks or shrubs to nest. Each year when the nesting colony reassembles, each male reclaims his burrow, then vocalizes to reconnect with his long-term mate. Magellanic pairs raise both chicks, guarding them from aerial predators such as gulls and petrels.

Beluga Whales Under Water :

Sea otters :
Sea Otters are found in the Pacific Ocean, this will take food upto 25% of its weight. Unlike other marine mammals, they lack blubber to keep them warm. Instead they rely on their supercharged metabolism and dense fur to survive in the near-freezing waters.
Holding the distinguished honor of Thickest Fur in the Animal Kingdom, sea otters have 1 million hairs per square inch, this will trap millions of tiny air bubbles for retaining warmth.

Floating on its back, a sea otter will vigorously hammer a mussel or clam against a rock on its chest to pry the meal open. When they’re not grooming or eating, sea otters sleep. Sometimes they wrap themselves up in kelp like a blanket—or even “hold hands”—to keep from drifting too far off.

If you are not able to see sea otter clearly, pls come to my home i will show you the fur doll which we bought from there !!!!!

One of the main thing we felt not to miss was Coral reef.
Coral reefs are argonite structures produced by living organisms, found in marine waters containing few nutrients. In most reefs, the predominant organisms are stony corals, colonial cnidarians that secrete an exoskeleton of calcium carbonate. The accumulation of skeletal material, broken and piled up by wave action and bioreoders, produces a calcareous formation that supports the living corals and a great variety of other animal and plant life.
Coral reefs most commonly live in tropical waters, but deep water and cold water corals exist on a much smaller scale.
Globally, coral reefs are under threat from climate change, ocean acidification, overuse of reef resources, and harmful land-use practices. High nutrient levels such as those found in runoff from agricultural areas can harm reefs by encouraging excess algaegrowth.

These are the fotos i picked from other site to show how the coral reef was in that. And from this you can imagine how much we have enjoyed the different colors and species under water.

Blacktip Reef Sharks
Blacktip reef sharks (Carcharhinus melanopterus) are common in the coral reefs and lagoons of the Indo-Pacific. Swift and sleek, their fins poke above the surface in an archetypically fearsome way. Even though they prefer shallow inshore waters, however, blacktips startle easily and tend to stay clear of humans.
Blacktip sharks grow to 6 feet long and weigh around 30 pounds. As their name suggests, their fins look as if they’ve been dipped in tar. Unlike bony fish, which have a swim bladder to keep them from sinking, a blacktip's buoyancy is the result of a large liver with lots of fatty tissue. Like many open-ocean sharks, blacktips are “obligate ram ventilators”: They have to swim 24-7 to breathe, literally ramming oxygen-rich water across their gills nonstop.
To eat, blacktips will encircle reef fish like kids around a broken piƱata and attack the trapped prey.
This is again the shilouette which we took inside the aquarium and the below is from the other site

Apart from this we also saw the below :

Giant Pacific Octopus

This octopus spans 30 feet and weighs 600 pounds, adults are typically 16 feet from tip to tip and weigh between 50 and 90 pounds. Still, the giant Pacific octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) is one of the largest octopuses in the world. It primarily occupies the Pacific coast from southern California to Alaska and only lives three to five years.
Giant octopuses
have highly developed brains and an array of amazing skills. They can change colors within seconds of being provoked. Two rows of suckers on each of its eight arms give the animal a sturdy grip: It requires a 40-pound tug to free a three-pound octopus. These suckers also act as tongues and hands, useful sensory tools when poking around for prey. Their boneless bodies enable them to squeeze into snug spaces. They can propel backwards at torpedo speed, or squirt a dark, befuddling ink to escape predators. They can pull stubborn prey (i.e. clams and crabs) apart with their arms; bite them open with their parrotlike beaks; or drill a hole and secrete liquids that corrode the shell and weaken the prey.

A female will use a natural nook or small cave as a safe haven and brooding chamber. After laying about 50,000 eggs, she tends to them with unwavering vigilance for about six months. Due to a hormonal change at spawning, she (and the male) stop eating. The female lives long enough to tend the eggs, completing her cleaning, aerating and protecting rituals. She dies shortly after the eggs hatch.

Moon Jelly :

A moon jelly’s bell-shaped upper body is coated with gummy mucus. Brine shrimp, fish larvae and other planktonic animals get stuck in the mucus, then slide down the bell to four long, frilly oral arms that move the food into the jelly’s mouth. When you see it closely, into a jelly’s glowing bell to watch not one, but four U-shaped stomachs digesting the food.

Sea Lions :
These mountainous marine mammals — 8-foot, 1,000-pound males and 6-foot, 250-pound females — can emit thundering roars.
Even newborns are noisy, vocalizing with their moms right away. Sea lions spend a lot of time on land. With their large front flippers, they can run faster than a human.Sea lions seldom drink — they get most of their water from their food. sea lions are sleek and streamlined under water, and they can swim 15 to 20 miles per hour and make tight turns to catch their prey.

If you like to have more information, pls visit : http://www.sheddaquarium.org
Now you can ask me that in the begining you said it contains 32,500 animals, but explained only few.... What to do i cant explain all and more over i cant remember the whole thing which we saw there. So pls do check in the above link for more information. Or else pls visit the aquarium which is really a worth seeing.
Thats it now !!! Will catch you soon with my other experiences.
Bye Now
Take care

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