This week we want to say a huge congratulations to Matt, who begins his full time position within our Aquarist department.
At nearly 4 years ago to the day, Matt began volunteering with The Deep whilst completing both a BSc and MSc in Biological Sciences at the University of Hull. Whilst not only proving himself a valuable member of the team he has had the opportunity to utilise our facilities to undertake behavioural research within our penguin colony for his studies, producing essential scientific data for population dynamics and personality traits amongst penguin colonies within zoos and aquariums.
Having been involved with the penguins since their arrival in Hull, from the initial build of their habitat to their ongoing care, he has built up quite a relationship with our lovable birds and is thrilled that he will continue to be involved in looking after them.
We wish him the best of luck!
A TURTLE-Y AMAZING INVENTION
23rd August 2017
Our turtle keepers Shoshana and Paul have come up with a great invention - a turtle back scratcher! As part of Sensa and Mabouche's daily care, the Aquarists brush their carapace (shell) to keep them clean from algae and polyps (and to give them a good scratch)!
Soon they won't have to wait for the keepers to do this as the new back scratcher, made from cleaning brushes, will be fixed into the Endless Ocean display so they can swim past and give their carapace a good scrub ... sort of like a turtle car wash!
Thank you to Vikan who kindly donated the brushes.
SCUBA BUG SUCCESS
20th August 2017
This month has seen a further breeding success here at The Deep. A 20 strong population of Sunburst Diving beetles has been supplied to Wilhelma Zoo in Stuttgart Germany with the aim of further successful breeding following our husbandry guidelines.
These 1cm long beetles are not commonly found on display in UK and European aquaria as they require a high level of care for such a tiny bug!
The Deep got its first population of Diving beetles from the US in 2011. We have since been breeding them behind the scenes, sustaining our display and even supporting other zoos and aquaria, including London Zoo, to contribute to the breeding programme for this species.
With healthy populations, research and observation work can be done. Studies have shown that the larvae from these beetles are the only known in the natural world to have bifocal vision! They have been a very popular display as they can literally ‘Scuba’ dive by holding a bubble of air on their abdomen while they submerge. They also demonstrate how life can exist in places that you wouldn’t expect and show that even small, slow moving streams and pools are environmentally important.
MADE FROM PLANTS, NOT PLASTIC
17th August 2017
We are taking steps to reduce the amount of plastic and have embarked on a new relationship with Vegware, the only completely compostable packaging company operating globally.
So far we have swapped our straws, cold drink cups, hot drink takeaway cups, salad and sandwich boxes to Vegware. Although it may look like plastic it is actually made from plants, and is therefore 100% compostable, breaking down with food waste so it can be returned to the farm and used as nutrients for the soil!
Most plastic packaging is made from non-renewable materials, a mix which is often hard to recycle. But Vegware is different! You can find out more here… https://www.vegware.com/index.php?act=viewDoc&docId=1
THE ITCHY, SCRATCHY SHOW!
14th August 2017
Some of you may have noticed our penguins looking a bit scruffy! This is because they are mid way through their annual moult. During their moult, they lose and replace their feathers, so that they have a new set to keep them warm and dry.
It only takes a few weeks but during this time they don’t like to swim (because they aren’t waterproof) and they generally don’t do much (because they feel a bit itchy). In the weeks running up they feed more as they lose our appetite during the moult.