So here is the answer to the “bones” riddle – last weekend we went to Santa Cruz and visited Seymour Center at Long Marine Lab. This is a working marine research laboratory that also has a small aquarium and museum about marine research. There is this gorgeous blue whale skeleton next to the museum. The skeleton came from the blue whale that was washed to the California beach in 1974.
Anna was excited about the museum, but it always amuses me how she is “what’s next?” girl when we visit museums or zoos. She is not the one to spend long on any of the exhibits unless there are buttons to push or… marine life to touch. But even then she quite quickly inspected everything. One thing that both of us found fascinating was a shark egg that looked more like a piece of sea vegetation.
The museum also had some information about local marine animals and birds. It wasn’t crowded, and the staff was very friendly. There were many buttons to push, she was entertained by old phones where she could listen to different sounds sea lions and whales make, and she enjoyed touching the soft pelts of otters and sea lions. I was surprised myself with how soft and luxurious sea otter’s fur feels – I am not surprised that they were driven to the brink of extinction. There was also a fascinating display about local falcons, how their eggs were affected by DDT and how scientists are working to save them from extinction as well.
It’s a great local trip to make. It was made even better by the fact that Anna was entertained throughout the drive by Little House in the Big Woods audiobook. The full version is pretty intriguing and generated a lot of pretend play in our house related to candy making and preserving food for winter.
Come and share your science activities with young children at Science Sunday hosted by Adventures in Mommydom.