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Friday, 10 April 2015

4/5ths of the family visit Bristol Aquarium

A trip to Bristol Aquarium this school easter holiday - Noah was on Scout Camp so we were a slightly reduced family of four, and felt a bit ... lopsided somehow.  We knew he was bound to be having a fantastic time even though he forgot his swimming trunks after being reminded repeatedly, so focused on finding our favourites. 

Petal loves the starfish - they are gorgeous creamy yellow colours, and when you look closely you can see there's a lot more going on than might first appear - look at all the teeny tube-like bits!


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Smiler likes the rays - I think it's the smile that gets him.  One of the great things about the aquarium is how accessible it is - even if Smiler is in his chair the whole time for whatever reason he still gets so much out of it.  No stairs or tricky level changes, and such huge expanses of glass to look through!


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And who doesn't love crabs! 


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The mix of environments helps separate the day up a bit, with darker intense sections followed by open bright areas with plants and displays about the bio measures used to keep the environment healthy for them.  Years and years ago there used to be Wild Walk - anyone remember that?  Anyway, that's the section that the Aquarium took over, and they've maintained and extended some sections - this part with the waterfall is a favourite of ours. 


The turtles are always a popular stop with everyone.  There are so many of them and they're big and slow enough that everyone manages to spot one independently.  For something so slow and ungainly on land,  the beauty and fluidity of their swimming always surprises me.  We had a guided tour once, and the aquarium staff person brought food for the turtles.   Any guesses what it was?
Frozen peas.
Yes, really.
They loved them. 


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Apparently the octopus sleeps for twenty two hours out of every twenty four - that's a lot of snoozing.  See the things you can learn when you read the bits on the wall?  When your offspring aren't dragging you off to look at something else that is.  Like the starfish, those suckers get more interesting the longer you look at them.  Petal commented that they look like tree trunks, and asked if they grow another ring every year - I was tempted to say yes, just to sound knowledgeable,  but in the end told her the truth.  That each sucker grows a new ring every time it helps the octopus hang on to a fish and eat it.


I was expecting the starfish, the lion fish, the seahorses and the turtles, but I have to say, the polar bear caught me by surprise ... and I'm not talking about an oversized advert for Fortitude.

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