Greetings humans! It's me, Maris (previously seen on the Global Explorers blog).
|Maris experiencing her very own Fishmas miracle with some salmon.|
I was feeling quite festive this holiday season, and I thought that I would share with you one of my favorite carols: The Twelve Days of Fishmas. You heard me correctly: FISHMAS. This song celebrates just a few of the inhabitants of the New England Aquarium's Giant Ocean Tank (aka the "G.O.T."). Enjoy (and please feel free to sing along):
|The coral reef habitat inside the GOT is actually made of fiberglass! Even though it's not real coral, |
it still provides shelter and a place to rest for many of the tank's residents (including this parrotfish).
|French grunts are often found schooling in the lower area of the GOT (and obviously not |
in the above formation...they usually swim together in a group,
but not for any fancy Olympic-style synchronized swimming moves).
|Peacock flounder, to be exact! You kind of have to sing this one "Flooooouuunnnder" to make it work with the song.|
|What would the GOT be without its divers? They go into the tank five times a day to feed the more than 1,000 animals that call the GOT home, and to clean and maintain the 200,000 gallon tank. Oh, and divers are NOT fish; they are mammals!|
|The green moray eels are some of the largest fish in the GOT. If you see one, it already looks likes it's |
caroling on account of the way they open and close their mouths. They are not actually singing;
they are getting more water to pass over their gills via their mouth.
Follow this link to see how we care for our morays.
|Snappers are another schooling fish; look for them hanging out with the French grunts!|
|There are three barracuda in the GOT, and they are most often found at the surface. Look for their black |
spots on their back! Oh, and same with the Flounder, sign this one "Barr-a-cuda" to make it work with the song.
|This is a rather utopian portrayal of damselfish considering how territorial they tend to be. The defense of |
their habitat is not unjustified; damselfish are often protecting a clutch of eggs and have been
the focus of a breeding program here at the New England Aquarium.
|ANOTHER schooling fish, lookdowns are often found swimming higher up in the GOT |
(hence the whole "lookdown" part of their name).
|Pufferfish, balloonfish, porcupinefish...they all have the ability to inflate when threatened|
(see this article for some recent research about HOW they do that).
|The GOT is home to one big black drum that likes to hang out on the bottom. Black drums have little fish-beards (ok, the correct term is BARBELS) that help them sense prey. But that's not even the coolest thing about them; they actually DRUM! Well, they make a noise like a drum. Listen for yourself. Black Drums make this sound with the help of a specialized |
organ called a swim bladder. Normally, the swim bladder is used for controlling buoyancy, but in some species of fish,
it also makes sounds.
I hope that you've enjoyed my stirring rendition of The Twelve Days of Fishmas. May your holidays be filled with hot cocoa damelsfish and Candy Cane Shrimps on a Snowy (Grouper) night!