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At-Home Activities Page 2

Let’s have some science-related fun while we’re social distancing!

Tune in every day to the Aquarium’s facebook page to step behind-the-scenes and see how we take care of the animals at the Aquarium!

Each day will be accompanied by an activity you can do from home.

Complete ten activities before June 15, 2020 and receive a free admission pass to the Aquarium!

Download this form for more details.

Tuesday, April 21 : Humboldt Penguins Feel The Heat

Humboldt penguins are one of many species of penguins facing serious threats from human activity in their environment. Listed as vulnerable, this species faces loss of habitat from harvesting of their guano, loss of food sources due to overfishing, increased competition and predation from invasive species, and the changing conditions of climate change. While protection and management plans are in place to help stabilize their population numbers, sometimes natural events make it harder for these efforts to work.

Wednesday, April 22: Happy Earth Day!

One of the ways humans impact wildlife and their habitats is through pet ownership. Pets can be great companions, but being an irresponsible pet owner can have some serious consequences.

Thursday, April 23: Invasive Species

Invasive species damage the native wildlife or ecosystem of habitats where they do not naturally occur. In the Great Lakes there are over 180 invasive species and at least 6500 in the United States, both on land and in the water. They are not a new issue, as some have been problematic for hundreds of years, but others are new introductions that have occurred in recent years.

Friday, April 24: Marine Mammals & Marine Debris

All of our marine mammals have been rescued and/or deemed non-releasable by the U.S. government.  There are many reasons that marine mammals may be unable to survive in their natural environment.

Kiah and Arie, who came to the Aquarium of Niagara as pups back in 2009,  were abandoned by their mothers and learned that approaching humans for food was easier than hunting for fish. This presents a dangerous situation for both the humans and the animals!

A big reason marine mammals end up in rehabilitation is marine debris. Marine debris is trash that ends up in the ocean and becomes a hazard for all marine life. Research indicates that the United States alone contributes 242 million pounds of plastic to the ocean each year, and this debris can be found in all the world’s oceans.

Saturday, April 25: Sustainable Seafood Diets

The animal care staff work hard to ensure the quality of the seafood we feed out to our animals is the best it can be, but we care for more than just the animals living at the aquarium. We also want the wildlife in our oceans to be happy and healthy, too!

Sunday, April 26: All About Axolotls

Axolotls are special amphibians – they are neotenic salamanders. This means they do not fully grow up!

Monday, April 27: Meet Our Humboldt Penguin Chicks!

We are so excited to announce that penguin chicks have hatched at the Aquarium of Niagara! This is the first time we have had chicks in 14 years, and the proud parents are some our newest and youngest colony members. Prior to the last year, most of our colony members were older and any eggs they laid were infertile.

Tuesday, April 28: Talking Animal Training

Animal training is a skill that not only produces amazing behaviors from the animal, but can bring about great change and understanding in the trainer.

Wednesday, April 29: Zoos & Aquariums – Then & Now

Visitors have enjoyed attending zoos and aquariums around the world for over 100 years, but a lot has changed in that time.

Thursday, April 30:Showing Off Our Softshell Turtle

Being able to see a variety of turtles at aquariums helps us to understand that there is a lot of variation among the world’s species.

Friday, May 1: Older Than Dinosaurs – Horseshoe Crabs

Horseshoe crabs are amazing creatures to behold. Their adaptations have helped them survive for over 400 million years, through multiple mass extinctions and changes in Earth’s conditions. They’ve even taken on the role of medical support of human health!

Monday, May 4: How To Be A Naturalist

From now on, our Monday Facebook Live videos will have an “Ask The Educator” theme! It’s a great chance for you to weigh-in on the topics you want to learn about. Email [email protected] to suggest an idea!

Wednesday, May 6: Animal Records

Animal care involves more than feeding animals and checking water quality. Since animals cannot tell us how they are feeling we must look at measurements and behaviors to communicate the status of their health.

Friday, May 8: J-E-L-L-O and Animal Diets

In their natural habitat, some marine animals are opportunistic feeders. This means they will eat whatever they can catch whenever they can catch it. Marine animals under human care on the other hand, can be picky, since they become habituated to being fed lots of nutrient rich fish several times per day. Here at the Aquarium of Niagara, our animal care staff make sure out animals are getting enough water and nutrients from the food. To do this we add more than just fish to their diet!

Monday, May 11: What We Love About Lobsters

There are many unique marine species in the world, one of those is the American Lobster.

Wednesday, May 13: Let’s Learn About Life Support

A very important part of any household is cleaning. At the Aquarium of Niagara cleaning is an essential part of our aquarists’ daily responsibilities too! While some staff make sure the floors are vacuumed, the windows are wiped down and the shelves are dusted just like what you do at home, the aquarists take care of one important addition to our list, cleaning the inside of all our exhibits.


Friday, May 16: Endangered Species Day & Seahorse Feeding

The seahorse’s digestive system is different from the digestive system of other fish. Just like humans, a seahorse digestive system has additional small organs to digest the food they eat. Their stomach is extremely reduced, so they are mostly reliant on other organs for digestion.

Monday, May 18: Let’s Get Excited About Eels!

Eels belong to the order Anguilliformes, within this order there are about eight hundred species of freshwater and saltwater eels! At the aquarium of Niagara, we have a Tessalata Moray eel, which lives in saltwater, and an American Eel, which lives in freshwater.

Wednesday, May 20: Penguin Courtship

Penguins are well known for their strong pair bonds, and our Humboldt penguins are no exception!

Friday, May 22: The Residents of Lake Ontario

Have you ever looked at a fish’s mouth and compared it to another fish? Fish mouth shape and location is all based on where they live in the water. Most fish mouths fall into three general types: superior, terminal, and inferior. Today we are going to discuss three different fish in Lake Ontario with these mouth types.

In honor of Memorial Day, we’re taking a day off from the at-home activities. Instead, please enjoy this special, patriotic sea lion show. Thank you to all of our servicemembers, veterans, and military families for your service and sacrifice. We can’t wait to welcome you back to the Aquarium soon.

Wednesday, May 27: Behind The Scenes of An Exhibit Upgrade

Here at the Aquarium of Niagara, our aquarists are hard at work refurbishing, or redoing, the Symbiosis exhibit. This exhibit is home to our Clownfish, Pajama Cardinalfish, and the Bubbletip Anemones. Today we are going to discuss why an exhibit would need to be redone and what the steps are to completely redo an exhibit.

Friday, May 29: Animal Rehabilitation

Imagine you are walking along the beach, it is deserted, and the sun is going down. You look down the beach and notice a little blip, it’s not moving so you just think it is a rock. As you get closer the blip becomes the outline of a sea lion. The sea lion is not moving but it is breathing. Is it okay? Does it need help? What can you do to help? Sometimes animals just want to rest on the beach, it is hard to tell whether they need help. Today you will learn about the rehabilitation process and how long an animal would need to stay at a rehabilitation center.

Monday, June 1: Talking Turtles

Here at the Aquarium of Niagara, we have two resident turtles named Maggie and Mortisha. The turtles go on outreach programs and act as ambassadors for their species. Maggie is a Florida Cooter and Mortisha is a Red-Eared Slider. Today you will learn the difference between the two species and why it is important to do your research before having a turtle as a pet.

Wednesday, June 3: Blown Away By Balloonfish

Here at the Aquarium of Niagara we have many different fish species. One of those unique species is the Balloonfish. Today you are going to learn about some interesting adaptations this fish has in order to survive in its environment.

Friday, June 5: Missing Link — Pinnipeds

When visiting the Aquarium, not very many people think about why an animal looks a certain way. Why do pinnipeds have flippers? Or why can’t penguins fly? After watching the sea lion show, let’s dive into how researchers believe sea lions evolved!

Monday, June 8: World Oceans Day

Today is World Ocean Day! To get a better understanding of a problem our oceans are facing, we will be discussing trash in the ocean. You will dive into how it gets there, what animals are affected by it, and what you can do to help keep our waters clean.

Wednesday, June 10: Remoras — The Ocean’s Hitchhikers

The word remora in Latin means “delay”. It was believed long ago that the remora fish would attach themselves to the bottoms of ships and boats and slow them down. This fish is now most often spotted hitching rides from sharks! Today let us discuss how these fascinating fish can attach themselves to other animals and what kind of relationship they have.

Friday, June 12: The Aquarium Turns 55 — Looking at Our Legacy

On June 12, 1965, the Aquarium of Niagara opened as a privately-owned corporation. This corporation included a small group of chemists and scientists with a goal of running an inland aquarium using a brand new formula for artificial seawater. As today marks our 55th anniversary, we will be discussing what this artificial seawater is and how it has made such a difference in aquariums around the world.

Why is this saltwater a big deal? The Aquarium was the first facility to use artificial seawater to maintain marine life. This was the first time this technology was used on a large scale, being prepared, handled, and managed for big aquarium systems. The seawater formula tested here is now known as Instant Ocean and is used in a lot of aquariums around the world!

Monday, June 15: Prehistoric Penguins

Penguins are birds that have been around for a very long time and have gone through some changes over their history. There are also many species of penguins in the natural environment today, eighteen to be exact. Today let’s discuss giant prehistoric penguins and the adaptations involved in separating penguins from other birds!

Wednesday, June 17: It’s The Anniversary of Mia’s Rescue!

June 17th is the anniversary of the day that our sea lion named Mia was rescued off the coast of California. She was very sick and malnourished and suffered from pneumonia and seizures. Just a week after being at the rescue center, Mia gave birth to her pup, Isabel.

Friday, June 19: Meet the Fish & Invertebrates of M&T Bank Shark & Ray Bay

The sharks and sting rays may be the stars of our soon-to-open exhibit, but they’re not the only ones who will call the touch pool home! There will also be at least four different species of fish, horseshoe crabs, and a king conch! The exhibit will mimic a real-life mangrove forest habitat like the ones you’d find along the coast of Florida.

Monday, June 22: Talking Tube Feet — Adaptations of Seastars & Sea Urchins

Echinoderm is Greek for spiny skin and includes sea stars, sea urchins, feather stars, brittle stars, and sea cucumbers. All these animals are found in the ocean in a variety of habitats from intertidal zones to the deepest, darkest depths of the ocean. Let’s talk about a special adaptation they have- tube feet!

Wednesday, June 24: Meet Our Penguin Chicks!

So far, our At-Home Activities have covered Humboldt penguin breeding, weights, enrichment, diet, threats, and penguin courtship. Today, let’s discuss the weight of a Humboldt penguin chick as it matures into an adult. The penguin chicks at the Aquarium of Niagara are very cute, but how do we know if they are healthy?

Friday, June 26: Darkness Dwellers

Did you know there is a whole array of animals who prefer to live in the dark? These animals have special adaptations to help in their dark environments. At the Aquarium of Niagara, these nocturnal fish are oftentimes overlooked! In order to thrive in the dark, nocturnal marine fish have developed certain adaptations to find food, get around, and avoid predators.

Can you help?

As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Aquarium of Niagara relies on ticket sales, programs, events and donations to operate. Even though we are closed, we are still committed to providing the exemplary standard of animal care that earned us accreditation by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. But as you can imagine, this closure will have a significant impact on our overall operating budget. Please consider a donation to assist us in the care of our animals and team members. Your support is more critical now than it has been in our nearly 55 years operating as an Aquarium.

Junior Vet Class