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fishy thoughts

maura @ 10:35 pm

Today we went to the aquarium, because it was beautiful outside and that’s what Gus chose to do. It was actually a perfect day for it, not even very crowded. Weirdly, many of the animals were kind of hyperactive! Maybe it was the warm weather? The aquarium’s only partially outdoors, though.

First up was the moray eel. When we got to the coral reef exhibit the moray was just sitting there on top of the reef as fish swam by incessantly, typical eel stuff. But then it suddenly took off and started swimming around. It swam all the way down to the end of the tank, then looped around and came all the way back and stuffed itself into a hole. They’re so weird-looking when they swim, all snakey and slithery.

We also passed by the penguins. Usually they’re standing on the rocks just sort of staring at you, which often prompts me to wonder who, exactly, is in the exhibit? But today we were walking by the underwater viewing area and they were in the water swimming like crazy! They sped in circles around the tank, jumping out of the water and looping around below. It was as if someone had challenged them to prove that penguins are good swimmers. Or given them coffee. Or something.

But most impressive was the octopus. Gus is a huge fan of cephalopods and, having spent the morning researching colossal squid on the internet, was primed to ogle the octopus for a spell. Its tank is rather small and usually the octopus is squeezed up into the corner of the tank, all smushed together and rather difficult to see. But today was different! When we got there the octopus was lying vertically alongside of the front of the tank and we had a great view of its head and body. Then, suddenly, it stretched out to practically its full width, unfurled all of its tentacles, and moved slowly to the middle of the glass, changing color from milky white to reddish-brown as it moved. It settled in on the front of the glass, all splayed out with the tentacles suctioning right on the glass, and turned back to white again. It hung out there for a while and *then* moved to the opposite side of the tank to resume the vertical arrangement it started with. I finally dragged Gus away after about 40 minutes.

I realize that this doesn’t sound so impressive as I type it, but it was truly a big deal. Seriously, I think this is more than we’ve *ever* seen it move in the 9 or so years we’ve been going to the aquarium, maybe even more than all of those other times combined! I think somebody gave the octopus coffee, too.

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