At the main entrance, I noticed the message of support to people of Canterbury, and was drawn to the gigantic starfish. The multimedia presentation that was inside a model submersible had me entranced, and the aquarium really was ‘hands-on’. It even included a look at a very, very dangerous species.
Seahorses, conger eels, carpet sharks, crayfish and crabs were all swimming around. There was even a fish that reminded me of an alien race of an early Star Trek series. The Scarlett Wrasse is an ‘Amazonian’ fish species where the babies are all born female. When they decide they ‘need’ a mate a dominant female releases hormones that turn her into a male, purely for the purpose of reproduction.
Even though my Community Relations days are behind me, I couldn’t help checking out the education resources; anyone who works with ‘Younguns’ will find education packs for every level of development, from preschoolers through to University level. Even if you aren’t an educator the books, brochures and marine guides that can be downloaded from the website are worth looking at. For more information go to www.marine.ac.nz.