All things spiky and slimy and beautiful: days 833 — 850

The other day, myself and a couple other members of the dev team visited the Vancouver Aquarium to discuss a web design project. When we were done, they took us on a quick behind-the-scenes tour, then let us loose in the public exhibit.

We saw beautiful jellyfish! in whiteand sort of dark redand purple stripes!

We saw various connected feeding tanks for these jellyfish. Apparently they have different dietary needs depending on their age, and each tank has different kinds of nutrients.

We saw a big tank full of sea monkeys, dense enough to form a dark green slurry. Sea monkeys aren’t especially interesting in themselves, but they are food for a lot of critters, so there you go.

We saw lumpsuckers! I honestly had never heard of these critters until just that morning, and they’re… kind of cute? I mean, we’ve got a pug in the office, so I definitely get the appeal. Not exactly sure how special they are, ecologically speaking. The Aquarium calls it “underrated” and “a fish-nerd-favourite”, so I don’t know. Let’s just say every fish is special and leave it at that.

I captioned this photo “Find the seahorse”, but then someone pointed out there were three seahorses in the picture! The really obvious one, centre right. Another just to the right of that, in the shade of the branchy things. And another, just below the centre of the picture, coiled around another branchy thing. Wow. I mean, seriously, good job with the camouflage, dudes.

And then there are butterflies. Or, almost. Soon, though. There were about a hundred pupae on this little rack, carefully watched by a some volunteers, with a couple just in the process of emerging. I’d never stopped to wonder where the butterflies at the Aquarium came from, and we I know!

But you don’t have to go to the Aquarium to enjoy the wonders of the natural world! There’s stuff happening right here in the city, like pigeons trying to make like the birds and the bees. No joke, this is actually really interesting! It sort of reminds me of all the birds of paradise’s crazy-ass displays, but even relatively drab birds with no sexual dimorphism do what they can with what they have.

Or maybe I totally misread the situation, and that pigeon was drunk or something.

In closing, here’s some little creepy crawly I saw on Burrard Bridge just after taking my Sunset Beach photo. What is that? An earwig? I’ll admit, I’m not as jazzed about it as e.g. the jellyfish, but it’s still kind of neat. And it’s all part the tapestry of life in the big city.

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