On a visit to the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, Grade 6 students witnessed our amazing local marine life in action, including the camouflage abilities of Steve, an octopus about to be released back into the ocean.
I really enjoyed the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre because everything was really intriguing. It was neat being able to touch all the things in the “touch pool”. I thought that the sea cucumber would be spikey, but it felt almost like Jell-O. I was really surprised by the sea urchin because I thought it would hurt if I touched it but it felt like a toothpick. The sea anemones were giant compared to the ones you find on the beach. They also stuck to you when you touched their tentacles. I also found out that animals use all sorts of habitats. I even saw a starfish hiding in a clam shell. In one of the pools they had hermit crabs that had candy cane coloured legs and he also had a bright blue shell!
I really enjoyed seeing the speckled sand crab fish and they are so cool because you can barely see them against the sand. When we were in the classroom, I enjoyed learning about the sandy bottom habitat because all the animals in there are so fascinating! They all blend into their environment so well, and I think they are incredible. I also liked learning about the sea cucumber because I found it really cool how if they are threatened by a predator, they can spew their guts out at it! That definitely amazed me.
I was really fascinated by Steve the octopus! One of the reasons I found Steve interesting was how fast he could move! I also liked watching the jellyfish. I was interested in them because I couldn’t believe jellyfish were plankton. In addition to that, I also liked to watch them eat. I also learned that whales take in a mouthful of water and plankton and then use their tongue to push out all the water and the baleen catches all of the plankton.
When I was doing the scavenger hunt, I learned that eelgrass is a critical habitat for bay pipefish and for many other creatures too! While looking for answers to the scavenger hunt questions, I discovered the “touch tank”. It was really fun to touch the anemones and starfish and feel their texture! I would like to go to the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre again sometime because it was really cool!
They had so many sea creatures in the Centre, and it was almost like being in the ocean. For me, the best part of this trip was the “touch pool”. At first, I was anxious to touch the sea creatures, but when I tried it, it was really fun! I loved how the sea anemones were slightly sticky and how they held on to your finger.
At the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre, the best thing was Steve the octopus and how he could move around and change colour so easily. Also, the big crab that had amazing camouflage was interesting and so was the grunt fish that could disguise itself as a barnacle by going into an empty barnacle shell. The sand sole fish was flat and looked like sand and all you could see was his big beady eyes. All in all, it was amazing.