Saturday, May 24, 2014

Discovery Reef and Stingray Bay

Let the summer adventures begin!

So on May 11th, after being home for approximately 16 hours, I officially left to trek out to Ohio for the summer. After a long drive me and mom made it to Columbus, OH and spent a couple of days hanging out till I began my internship at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. We toured the zoo and it is an incredible place! 

I will be starting my senior year at Unity in the fall (scary!) and I am double majoring in Marine Biology and Wildlife Biology. Last summer I covered the requirements for my wildlife biology internship, and this summer my goal is to complete the requirements for my marine biology internship. I am interning at the Discovery Reef and Stingray Bay sections of the zoo and aquarium and began my internship last Thursday. I will be here through the first week in August, lasting 12 weeks. 

I'll begin by just giving you a little information about Discovery Reef and Stingray Bay:

Discovery Reef is part of the Shores region of the zoo and has a tank that holds 85,000 gallons of water and is 65' long x 20' wide x 13' deep. This tank houses different species of tropical fish and a few different types of sharks. It is the largest tank and is definitely my favorite! They do diver interpretations here where a scuba diver feeds the fish and a staff or interpreter speaks to the guests about Discovery Reef.

Above photo is a view of the large Discovery reef tank from the aisle. There are also four other tanks. They are known as the "lagoon", the coral exhibit, the tide pool, and the seahorse exhibit. The lagoon and coral exhibit are neat because they both have live coral in them. There is also a touch pool where people can pick up and touch different animals (like sea stars, urchins, and horseshoe crabs). 

Stingray Bay is an 18,000 gallon pool that houses many stingrays. There are two species, southern and cownose stingrays in which people are allowed to feed and pet. This is one of my favorite sections of the zoo and it is so fun to pet the stingrays. Below are a couple of pictures of the exhibit and of some people petting and feeding the stingrays. 

My internship here will introduce me to the aquatic zoo-keeping field and will emphasize general husbandry for bony fish, stingrays, invertebrates, corals, and cultured food.
As my blog posts continue throughout the summer I am going to attempt to learn all of the species of fish and sharks that aquarium houses and hopefully post pictures. I will also describe my general duties for my internship and what I am learning while here. 
Till next time,


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