Happy Thanksgiving from the divers

The Aquarium is closed but "the fish gotta eat!"  So do the turtles.  So do the divers!

Thanksgiving Day dive team: Marcus, Mack, Chris, Shannon, Jess

Homemade goodies by Shannon, baker extraordinaire - this if for us, not the fish ;)

Myrtle's feast: lettuce, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, gel, clam, squid, shrimp and pollock

Jess is Myrtle's personal server today

Dropping in her food - this takes more skill than you might think (some of our fish are thieves)

Myrtle eating a healthy snack of "turtle gel"

All quiet on the public side — the Aquarium is closed on Thanksgiving (and Christmas)

Thanksgiving Day dive team SELFIE
A special thanks to Shannon, Jess and DJ Mack for volunteering their time on this holiday - it does not go unappreciated!



Our Little Hamlets

I took the GoPro into the GOT today to well, "get something cool". I didn't really have a set goal, but I was optimistic I'd find something neat to take a video of. Perhaps some mating behavior or even the opposite of that: aggression from one fish to another. What evolved was a video of all four species of hamlets that live in the Giant Ocean Tank!

Blue Hamlet, Hypoplectrus gemma
Hamlets are members of the sea bass family, Serranidae, which also includes basses and groupers. Unlike many groupers and basses, hamlets are quite small—never getting bigger than 4-5" long, and look like miniature versions of our larger groupers.

Barred Hamlet, Hypoplectrus puella
Hamlets are found mainly around coral reefs in Florida waters and throughout the Caribbean, especially the Bahamas. There are 11 known species. We have four of them in our big tank.

Indigo Hamlet, Hypoplectrus indigo
Hamlets do tend to be shy, but in the GOT they have gotten used to divers, which made it possible to get these shots.

Yellowtail Hamlet, Hypoplectrus chlorurus

Come by sometime and see if you can spot these beauties among the hundreds of fish darting among the coral!


VIDEO: The Black Drum

As promised in this last post, here's video of the black drum navigating the new corals inside the Giant Ocean Tank. As he swims overhead you can clearly see the barbels that make this fish look bearded. Pretty appropriate given our bearded World Champion Boston Red Sox!

Another unique thing about black drums is that they - like all drums in the Giant Ocean Tank - have the ability to produce a low-pitched drum-like (hence the name) resonant sound by vibrating the muscles surrounding their swim bladders.  This is likely for mating or territorial purposes.  However, it's very rare to hear this in the GOT... Toronto is our only black drum.

Today Red Sox nation is swarming over the city, wearing their pride on their sleeves and caps, cheering for the home team at the victory parade. Here in the Giant Ocean Tank, the divers are getting in on the act, too.

Red Sox: Number One

Ascend? Nope, a big thumbs up for the home team
So after the confetti has fallen and the duckboats have passed, come on down to the Aquarium and see the divers in their Red Sox gear. You might get to see the shy black drum, too! See lots more pictures of him here.