|Baby Ava seeing her first fish!|
As well as being there for a family bonding session and to show Ava what fish look like, I wanted to explore the world of marine invertebrates. Unless I become a diver, this is the next best thing to see some of these creatures alive. Of course, rock pooling is an option, but don't worry, its on the to-do list.
|Underside of a Spiny Starfish|
|Spiny Sea Urchin|
|Pacific Sea Nettle|
Jellyfish have a fascinating life cycle. They start life as microscopic larvae, which drift around the ocean until it eventually settles on the seabed and develop into small polyps (sea anemone-like things) with long tentacles. These polyps grow and begin to look like a stack of saucer-shaped structures. These 'saucers' then separate off and become miniature jellyfish. Eventually, these small jellyfish grow larger and become adults, which are known as a medusa. The medusas mate and the cycle begins all over again.
Another tentacled creature is the octopus. Octopuses are perhaps one of the most intelligent invertebrate in the world. It is amazing to think that they belong to the mollusc family, the same as slugs and snails.
|Zebra Mantis Shrimp|
|Dead Men's Fingers (a species of sponge)|
|Corals in ultraviolet light!|