Ever wonder what it would be like to see dolphins in their natural environment? Well, if you head to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, Florida you can sign-up to go on a tour of Tampa Bay and perhaps see the dolphins for yourself. On 95% of the bay tours dolphins are spotted. That is because approximately 500 bottle nose dolphins make Tampa Bay their home. The average water depth of Tampa Bayis about 12 feet which is a just a little deeper than a backyard in-ground pool. Yet these dolphins are able to survive and thrive in these waters despite that Tampa Bay is also home to one of the busiest seaports in the southern United States.
Category: Blog, Sea Life
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I was lucky to get a chance to meet Winter, the star of Dolphin Tale, her friends, and Cammie, the Senior Marine Mammal Trainer at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium who takes care of them. Winter uses a prosthetic tail to move since hers was damaged and fell off after being tangled in a rope of a crab trap. The Clearwater Marine Aquarium helped Winter to heal and the engineers at Hanger Prosthetics continue to make her new prosthetic tails as she grows.
Not only is Winter’s story a remarkable story of perseverance, so is the story of the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. It took the aquarium founders 11 years to find the current site, remodel it (since it use to a wastewater treatment facility), and then be able to welcome animals and guests! If you get a chance, I highly recommend a visit.
Category: Sea Life
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Do you know what these are? Some thought they were “fish eggs” and the others called them “jellyfish eggs”. My friend Tina did the research and found out that they were salps.
Salps are small filter-feeding organisms which pump water through their body to feed and move. Unlike jellyfish, they have a spinal cord at some point in their lifetime. They arrived with the warm waters of the Gulf Stream. Swimming with them felt like moving through a sea filled with elbow macaroni! They stuck in hair and bathing suits but were otherwise harmless.
What is great about these organisms is that they remove carbon from the water. The carbon exits the system of the salp when it excretes waste (goes “number 2”) and the pellets sink to the sea floor and can stay there for centuries!
Taking carbon out of the upper water surface of the ocean leaves more room for the carbon in the water and this means less will escape into our atmosphere as carbon dioxide- a notorious global warming gas. Ultimately these little critters are helping the ice caps stay afloat! For this, the polar bears think salps rock!
Category: Sea Life
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