Saturday, August 9, 2014

Making Jellies

Anne had wanted to see the aquarium in Newport so we all decided to go.  It was a small but well-done exhibition, particularly suited for children.

While we were watching the jellyfish, we were invited to go "behind the scenes" to see the process of "jelly-making."  First, the scientists gather the pink polyps from the glass in the aquarium.  Placing the polyps into water of the perfect salinity and temperature, it is only a few months before the jellies are big enough to be either put back with other jellies or fed to other sea animals.  They sound like the mice of the ocean.
The bottom is the area where the jellies grow until they enter the teenager pool.

While looking at the jelly fish, we noticed some of them had orange spots on their insides.  Turns out, those spots are food in the jelly fish's intestines.  By watching the orange spots, the biologists know when to feed the creatures!

We asked the young lady why we were invited back for a special viewing.  She commented that they pick out groups that they think would be interested in it . . . somewhat random but not completely.  I commented to her that we were nerds in high school, before it was cool to be a nerd, and we still are.  It is not a bad thing to be a nerd.

The aquarium also had an aviary filled with puffins, oyster catchers, and murres.  The puffins were quite close which gave us an opportunity to see that their bills, when observed straight-on, are quite thin.

Another interesting exhibit contained the sea horses.  These sea horses were bigger than most of the ones we had seen, so it was fun to watch them bob around and move from coral piece to coral piece.

Upon leaving the aquarium, we passed the Rogue Beer Brewery, and although we did not stop then, I suspect we will be back.

Finally, before getting on the road back to the hotel, we stopped to take a picture of the famous Newport Bridge.  The man who designed the highway also designed the bridges, and this one is his most famous.

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