You’re probably wondering why am I writing about a shrimp. I wonder sometimes about the content of my blogs too, but this one interested me personally. I have started a saltwater tank at home and have been doing research and came across this little crustacean that I thought was very interesting.
Not only can these critters be striking to look at, but they are some powerful beings. Many people keep them in special built tanks because they are so powerful!This creature kicks butt and takes names.
What makes them so powerful? The power of their strike not only allows them to disable their next meal or threat, but it can actually break the aquarium or even your fingers! The claw is faster than a .22 caliber bullet, it hits so fast it boils the water and produces a shock wave! These things are so awesome that scientists are studying the structure of its battle ram to improve on body armor made for people.
Here is a little info graphic I found with those facts and more.
Let’s take a look back at some of the goings on in the Animal Department. Some of these critters have moved on to further their careers and education, some of them have retired, some of them have passed away and some of them are still with us in the Animal Department, just older and wiser now! I have 10 years worth of memories and pictures of all the happenings in the Department… here are a few of my favorites! Keep your eyes peeled for many more to come!!!
In the Animal Department most of the keepers share an office. It is crazy to think, but we cram 6 keepers into 1 office! Sherry has her own office, but she has a window and her office opens into the Keeper office so she is always around much activity. Aaron has his own office, but it also has a window. For me I get to spend my time in the lonely Vet room without a window and without companionship so whenever an animal is ill and has to spend time in the Vet room I get a little too excited to have the company. Usually when an animal has to spend time in the Vet room it is for a very long period of time. We had a chicken (PPAL or Princess Poops A Lot) who spent over a year in the Vet room and there was Nimbus Rabbit who spent many months in the Vet room and now it is Zoe Turtle’s turn to hang out in the Vet room and I couldn’t be happier! I never in my life thought I would get so excited to have the companionship of a turtle but the days that Zoe gets to hang out with me are the best days of the week! I know he gets bored, but I enjoy his company greatly! Zoe is a water turtle and is recovering from a shell wound so he must be out of the water for a certain period of time to give the medication time to work. I’ve been trying to give him stuff to do while he “dry docks” (stays out of the water) but my ideas don’t seem to impress him, but today I put out a hide log and this is what he did with it!
On Friday May 23, 2014 I had a very special visitor to the Vet room and I was super excited! Many people don’t know but we have a Red-tailed Hawk who lives off exhibit behind-the-scenes and on Friday we had some electrician’s working in Misha’s area so Misha got to come hang out with me in the Vet room! It was the best day, I had Zoe and Misha to keep me company!
Sometimes the animal department gets a lot of items donated to us and sometimes people will usually ask us if there is anything we are in need of. Keeping track of these things can get difficult, so I decided to make an Amazon wish list for the department. This way, everything is on the list with prices (big and small), quantities needed and our information is all filled out for us to receive it.
Below are some pics I quickly found of our animals using some enrichment items that have been purchased in the past.
All snakes can swim. It’s not just specialized snakes, like Sea Kraits, that can swim and dive. Water Snakes, Copperheads, Water Moccasins, Garter snakes, Anacondas, Ribbon snakes, Rat snakes, and many more are often found near bodies of water. Even the arboreal snakes of the world like Green Tree Pythons and Mangrove snakes are competent swimmers.
The museum grounds are home to a number of resident snake species; including the only venomous snake species in Durham, the Copperhead. While I didn’t see a copperhead on this occasion, I did see the Northern Water Snake below who just happened to be swimming by when I was on the boardwalk.
Do you ever sit at home, staring at your computer monitor willing something interesting to happen on the internet so you can be entertained? Are you a secretary with a secret passion for reading old war diaries? How about an engineer who wants to hear whales talking to one another? Or maybe you were born and raised in a city and always wanted to go on an African safari or a fireman who dreams of being a meteorologist?
Even if none of those things resonates with you, there’s probably some branch of science that does. Likewise, there’s a branch of science that needs your help. Channel surfer, secretary, engineer, urbanite, fireman, or whatever it is you do, everyone is welcome and needed to help process the massive amounts of information that scientists assemble. I promise it’s not boring!
Imagine you’re interested in learning to identify the different dialects of Orcas. You sink several microphones underwater and record for hundreds of hours. Now you’ve got a ton of data to sift through and it would literally take you YEARS to do so. So what do you do? Historically, a scientist might devote their entire career to that one project but now, with the internet and so many people willing to help, it may only take a few months. Projects that involve the collective effort of people (scientists and janitors alike) to parse through vast amounts of data are called, “Citizen Science” projects.
The museum helps pair social scientists and their projects with participators on our Experimonth website using cooperative games to find answers for the scientist.
If that’s not your thing, and you really do want to read war diaries, listen to whales, categorize cyclones or safari through Africa, you should head over to Zooniverse and join me and the other 1.1 million people who are taking part in any of the 22 currently running projects.
My current favorites:
Experimonth: Do You Know What I Know You Know?
Zooniverse: Condor Watch, Snapshot Serengeti, Notes from Nature, and Galaxy Zoo
So start classifying or entering or cooperating!
You also never know when a Serval will photobomb your Wildebeest trail cam, and I promise you don’t want to miss it!
A few weeks ago I wrote a little post about animals dreaming. I included a picture of what I thought our woodchuck Henry possibly dreams about. A nice individual who reads our blog granted Henry’s dream come true.
Here are 2 pictures.
A couple of weeks ago Max, the steer, wasn’t feeling very well. He had some loose stool, a runny nose and wasn’t as interested in his food as normal. We had Dr. Cannedy come out to look at him to find out what was wrong. Dr. Cannedy came out and gave Max some medication to help with his stool quality as well as medication to help with the other symptoms. One of the issues was Max had an intestinal parasite. In order to treat this parasite Dr. Cannedy gave us medication to give to Max for the next 4 days. We were to give Max 2 tablets crushed into his chow with a little molasses dribbled over it to cover up the taste. Max weighs 774.0 kg (1702.8 lbs.) so his medication is a lot larger than what many of our other animals would get. Below are pictures of Max’s medication.
Max took his medication very well. The molasses helped a great deal! Max was also given Gatorade water which he drinks very quickly! And now Max is doing much better and is almost completely back to his normal self!