Grade School the Second Time Around (part 7)

Here we are at the end of the school year so this will be the last installment until September (unless I learn something really exciting over the summer)!

  • Some salt marsh birds build their nest out of  straw that grows in the marsh. Because the straw is hollow, the nests float and move up and down with the tide water. The birds “anchor” the nests with seaweed tied to mussel shells buried in the sand. This keep the nest from floating away.
  • The male fiddler crab has one large claw and one small. He waves this large claw in the air to attract female fiddler crabs.
  • Mudskippers are fish that can live on land as well as in the water. They use their fins to drag themselves along on the sand and they breath through their gills by storing water in pockets on their sides that keep their skin moist.

And with that bit of water related trivia I’m off to the beach!!


Grade School the Second Time Around (part 6)

We have moved on to our next science topic “Oceans”! Here is what I rediscovered this week…

  • The Pacific Ocean has more salt than the Atlantic Ocean. Not sure what other differences this makes but one neat fact is that it is easier to float in the Pacific.
  • Fish, such as sharks, tuna and salmon move their tails side to side when they swim but sea mammals such as dolphins and whales move their tails up and down.
  • A shark’s skeleton is made entirely of carterige. That is why it can almost bend in half when it thrashes around.
  • This one is very depressing: Due to the way the currents move, there is an “island” of trash and garbage about the size of The state of Texas floating in the middle of the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii. 😞

Something to think about, huh?

In Memory of our Fish…

So I gave my husband a fish tank for Christmas thinking it would be a nice relaxing hobby. He set it up, put in some pretty blue gravel and some plants that he got at Petsmart. Then he did all the stuff you need to do to get the water ready. Finally it was time to add the fish. Back to the store. He picked up six fish-three black and three orange. I’d tell you what kind they were but all fish look the same to me. We shared the responsibility of naming them and soon Chase, Audrey, Cliff, Milo, Cuff and Link were swimming happily in their blue paradise. It was very relaxing in the evening to watch TV by the light of the tank and the cats were really fascinated by the “new toy”. We enjoyed it for a week. Then the carnage started. It was all because of the ICK, a fish type disease that coats them with white spots and make these weird little cataract bubbles over their eyes. Poor little blind fish. I arose one morning and my husband informed me that one had passed away during the night. Don’t ask me which one because like I said, they all look the same to me. So back he went to the pet store for an Ick cure. In went the foaming tablets. Second dose, he had to take some water out and add more tablets and new water. Two more fish down. Back to the pet store for a stronger Ick cure. In goes the liquid. Second dose of this, he took more water out added more stuff and replace the water. By this time the last orange fish is skimming the bottom looking sad and the two remaining black fish are hiding behind the filter. I can’t help but think that this is a bad thing. So at this point we figure either the Ick goes away or the last three fish die and we start over. On a positive note, the plants are looking great, and my husband has made a lot of friends at Petsmart. He’s probably also wishing that I had just gotten him another sweater for Christmas. Maybe next year.