Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Labbit Travels: Seattle Aquarium

Pipkin and Domo had been holding off on going to the Seattle Aquarium while it was bright and sunny outside, figuring Seattle's infamous wet and cold days would be perfect for hiding inside a building. Well, Seattle still hasn't seen a rainy day, and it's almost time to return to the Green Mountain State, so off to the aquarium they went.

Where to go first?
A quick look at the map to plan their visit, and they were ready for the life aquatic!

The Seattle Aquarium has a simulated tidal pool tank, where seawater is pumped at certain intervals to mimic the tides coming into Puget Sound. Inside the tank, once the crashing waves settle, you see what kind of aquatic life survives being battered about in the waves.

O hai!

Apparently there's a lot of aquatic life that can take a wet thrashing. Labbits don't have such an easy time with waves, as their friend Masher McBuns can tell you.

Don't fall in!

Pipkin prefers calmer waters. The aquarium has shallow tanks where you can touch various starfish. Don't worry, their arms won't grab you. Unlike this beast:

She's got her eye on you!

Pipkin was NOT fond of the cephalopod exhibit. He'd had enough of Seattle's giant spiders, squid and troll. He wasn't too happy to learn that Seattle's coast is also home to the Giant Pacific Octopus, the largest octopus species. Domo scrambled on top of the tank to take a closer look at the female, kept in a separate tank from the male. Octopus are known to eat other octopus, so they are kept apart, although their tanks share the same water, and there's a "screen" in the tunnel's wall that allows them to smell one another. The female that Domo's looking at isn't nearly as big as the male in the next tank, who often hides his 14 ft tentacle span from visitors.

Domo finds it funny that they're kept apart and that they can be cannibalistic. Octopus have three hearts - yes, three! You'd think with six hearts in that tank, there would be a lot of love between those two.

Pip and Domo lined up against this wall chart to see how they measure up to a Sixgill Shark.

Pipkin's an inch taller than Domo when he stands up on his hind legs, but it's quite clear...

...they're only about the size of a tasty snack!

Now, remember what you just read about the Giant Pacific Octopus' tentacle span? 14 feet?

Take another look at that Sixgill Shark. It's about 12 feet from nose to tail. A Giant Pacific Octopus could give that shark quite the hug.

How about some pictures of the wonderful, less fearsome fish at the Seattle Aquarium?

It's amazing the variety of colors, patterns and shapes you see in the ocean. This blue polka dotted guy looks like he'd do better with larger pectoral fins.

This fish must be part of the punk scene.

This fish has big lips!

This one looks quite dramatic with its stripes and fan like fins.

This fish has quite the set of chompers.

The blue one above has quite the nose!

This yellow guy is called a Cowfish. He looks like he could use a bigger dorsal fin. 

Pipkin had no idea that labbits and seahorses share a fondness for grass.

Aquatic life isn't limited to creatures exclusively in the ocean. Some, like this fur seal (left) and harbor seal (right, on deck) can haul out onto land and waddle about.

This Tufted Puffin can swim (check out those webbed feet, they're like fins), waddl on land, fly in the air AND makes its nest under ground. Now that's a remarkable creature!

Pipkin and Domo checked their map to make sure they hadn't missed any exhibits, then walked their seemingly plain, mono colored furry selves back to Seattle Center for their last stop in Seattle.  Check back to see where they conclude their trip!


  1. This post makes me miss working at the Seattle Aquarium...it was such a fun place to work. Looks like Pip and Domo had an excellent trip there! Did they get to see the sea otters? And are the sea dragons still there, or have they moved on?

    1. If Pip knew you had worked there, he would have made a point to say hello to everyone for you! He and Domo had a FANTASTIC time at the aquarium. The staff is top-notch and answered all their questions about life at the aquarium, operations, and info about the fish and mammals.

      They indeed saw the sea otters, and the fur seals and harbor seals, their favorites to watch.

      Sadly they do not recall seeing any sea dragons. I guess they have found a new home.

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