What to look for at the Birch Aquarium Sea Sponge
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Though extremely plant-like in appearance, sponges are actually one of the most primitive animals in the sea. They belong to a group called porifera. Most of us are familiar with the dried colorless varieties that populate the kitchens and bathrooms of the world. But in the ocean, live sponges can be found in an infinite variety of colors and shapes.
Most of them are relatively small, but some varieties can grow to over 6 feet in diameter. Sponges differ from all other marine invertebrates in that they have no true tissues or organs. Their structure is composed of simple aggregations of cells. The name porifera means pore bearer. The tissue of sponges encloses a vast network of chambers and canals that connect to the open pores on their surface. Sponges feed by drawing a current of water in through their pores, filtering out the nutrients, and then ejecting it out through an opening
Did you know? Sea stars have no brains and no blood. Their nervous system is spread through their arms and their “blood” is actually filtered sea water.Type: InvertebrateDiet: CarnivoreAverage lifespan in the wild: Up to 35 yearsSize: 4.7 to 9.4 in (12 to 24 cm)Weight: Up to 11 lbs (5 kg)
Sea Stars or Starfish
What do squid, mussels, and snails have in common? They’re all molluscs! Range Squid live throughout the world's oceans at all depths. Size Largest: The giant squid can reach a length of 18 m (60 ft) including tentacles, and weigh up to 900 kg (1980 lbs). Smallest: One species of sepiolid squid only reaches a length of about 1.8 cm (0.7 in), and weighs as little as 700 mg (0.02 oz). Feeding Habits Squid are carnivores; they eat fish, crustaceans, and smaller squid. Offspring Female squid lay thousands of eggs, which attach to foliage or to objects at the bottom of the ocean. Life Span The common squid lives about one to two years. Did You Know Some squid have bioluminescent organs that make them glow in the dark. When being chased, many squid squirt a dark liquid to distract their attacker. Giant squid have eyes the size of basketballs Squid swim faster than any other invertebrate. Biologists estimate that there are as many as 500 species of squid.
Just about any sample of seawater taken will be full of plankton. Plankton is made up of microscopic plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zooplankton). Zooplankton are mostly too small to be seen with the naked eye. They are made up of the larva of some sea creatures, and other adult animals that never grow above microscopic sizes. Zooplankton are the second step in most food chains. Zooplankton eat phytoplankton, and often other zooplankton as well. They are in turn eaten by very small animals.
jellyfish, common name for the free-swimming stage (see polyp and medusa), of certain invertebrate animals of the phylum Cnidaria (the coelenterates). The body of a jellyfish is shaped like a bell or umbrella, with a clear, jellylike material filling most of the space between the upper and lower surfaces. A mouth is located in the center of the undersurface and tentacles dangle from the bell margin. Many jellyfish are colored, with pink or orange internal structures visible through the colorless or delicately tinted bell, and all are exquisitely designed; they are among the most beautiful of animal types
Typically, jellyfish catch their prey with the aid of stinging cells located in the tentacles; many jellyfish can cause irritating or even dangerous stings to humans. Food is carried by the tentacles to the mouth, then is moved into the stomach and is distributed to the body through radial canals. Jellyfish move up and down by contracting and relaxing the bell, using muscles that circle the bell margin; they are carried horizontally by waves and currents. Jellyfish of the class Hydrozoa are small, ranging from 1/8 in. (0.32 cm) to several inches in diameter, and usually have four tentacles. They have several (often four) unbranched radial canals and simple sense organs.
News 8 video of the birch aquarium tide pool – click on watch video once you go to the link
Kelp forests grow along rocky coastlines in depths of 18 to 90 feet (6 to 30 meters). Kelps are types of brown algae, which hold on to the rocky bottom with root-like structures called holdfasts. From these holdfasts, long streamers of kelp grow up toward the surface, with gas bladders at each leaf to keep the plant upright, such as on the Giant Perennial Kelp. Bull Kelp has a hollow stem and a single large gas bladder near the water's surface from which streamers grow.
Medium to large gull.
Head and underparts white.
Back light gray.
Wingtips black with white spots.
Bill yellow with red spot near tip of lower mandible.
Size: 56-66 cm (22-26 in)
Wingspan: 137-146 cm (54-57 in)
Weight: 800-1250 g (28.24-44.13 ounces)Seagull
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