Success is getting what you want; happiness is liking what you get

Monday, January 12, 2009

From Feathers to Tentacles

On Sunday we went out and about with our SLG friends visiting some of the attractions that Wellington City offers.  First up was a paper craft lesson for our group.  We cut  and measured, stamped and embossed, and got covered in glue.  The end result was a nifty little book for photos.  Robin spotted this fine looking bird in residence and was delighted when the owner let him hold it.

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Who’s a pretty boy?

Next stop was Te Papa Museum to check out the “Colossal Squid Exhibition”.  This 495 kg specimen was caught by the long line vessel San Aspiring fishing for Argentinean tooth fish in Antarctic waters, and was pulled up intact on the long line, alive and still holding on to a tooth fish.  The squid was immediately frozen for safe keeping, and gifted to the museum.

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Te Papa Museum

Once the colossal squid was thawed and examined, it had to be stored in preservative.  For safety reasons, formalin cannot be used in public spaces, and the scientists decided to use glycol.  As glycol has not previously been used before for such a large specimen, samples of the fluid must be monitored regularly.

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The squid is 4.2 metres long and we joined the crowds of people walking slowly around the specially built tank.   The large squid eye seemed to be watching us all as we filed past.   The tentacles are covered in lethal looking hooks, spikes and suckers, just right for catching prey.  We certainly wouldn’t want to meet up with him in his natural environment!!

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