Thursday, July 23, 2009

Creatures Of The Touch Tank

Well, today we all got a special treat at Piers Park! One of our camper's father, who is a scuba diving enthusiast, brought in a variety of marine life from a recent dive way off of George's Island. In a cooler filled with sea water, the kids were able to touch and learn about these sea critters. The wildlife which we saw in the touch tank were sea stars, mussels, scallops, periwinkle snails, a green crab, and an empty moon snail shell to boot. Some of our campers were able to show off their extensive knowledge about these animals.

What many campers found most intriguing were the scallops. Scallops are bivalves, meaning a mollusk with a two part shell, that live on the sea floor. If you watched them long enough, you can see their fan-shaped shells part to reveal a muscled mouth that is lined with little black dots. The "dots" are what we would call eyes, although they do not see shapes but rather detect differences in light and darkness. We could also looked inside the shells of some of the scallops and saw a red blob. Our camper's father explained that this red blob is actually a collection of scallop eggs safely being stored inside of the shell. Despite many scallops being devored by their main predators such as rays, we were able to take a closer look at this fantastic species. Another fun thing we learned about the scallops..........they can let out a jet of water that is bound to soak campers.

Peace Out,

Conor B. Newman

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