by Meglin Bodner
Marine Biology and Anatomy classes filed onto two buses headed for Mystic. Anticipation grew stronger as the buses neared the aquarium. And finally, we arrived.
The first event on our to-do list was attending a class on either ecosystems or evolution. Marine bio students went to the ecosystem presentation while the anatomy students learned about evolution. In the ecosystem class, we learned about how climate change, pollution, habitat loss and human interaction affects marine ecosystems. Moreover, Wilson Radulski and Taylor St. John competed for “fish in the ocean to feed their villagers.” This model was performed by sucking through a straw to move Swedish Fish and Goldfish crackers from a bowl labeled “the ocean” to a bowl labeled “the boat.” Anatomy students learned how environmental changes supported the evolution of new species and they examined marine mammal skeletons to see the structural changes whales and dolphins had made to be able to live life in the ocean.
Afterwards, everyone broke down into smaller groups and ventured around the aquarium. There was a shark touch tank, stingray touch tank, critter cam exhibit, African penguin enclosure, Beluga whale tank, seal and shark exhibit, and other tanks and exhibits.
At lunch time everyone eat from the Penguin Café and then made their way to the Seal Show. The seals showed off their trick by pointing out a specific shape when it was rearranged in a different order, jump out of the water, roll on land, and obey their trainers in return for fish.
The rest of the day consisted of walking around and looking at more exhibits and seeing what was available at the gift shop.
The Mystic Aquarium was a great place to go for a field trip. If you are interested in going there next year, take a Marine Biology or Anatomy class.