Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Going Fishin--But Just Lookin

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We took a Sunday drive up to Albany, Georgia to the Flint River Aquarium. It is a hundred miles one way, a "bit of a poke," as one son would say. We had been once before and wanted to show the "kids." It may be hard to get everyone together, so we settled for showing the younger son and will try to take the older one and his wife another time. It is a neat place and we all enjoyed the afternoon.

There are a great number of tanks and one of them is quite large (175,000 gallons, 22 feet deep). The exhibit focuses on the fish and other animals that are found in the Flint River.

Here are a few.

Large Carp:

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Two species of ENORMOUS sturgeon:

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Bass:

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Gars and Catfish:

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Many turtles, including everyone's favorite, the alligator snapping turtle:

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(What a dinosaur!) This one was a baby.

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I took these pictures of a big guy the last time we were there.

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For perspective:

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And of course, we can't forget the alligators.

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More gars with an alligator.

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This picture below is nothing that I am proud of, but the subject is of personal interest. This is an amphiuma. We have two species that live in our rivers, streams and swamps. I had read of these, but once when we were out "jeeping" with friends after a heavy rain, we came upon several of them on a dirt road, where they had washed out of their home. They look like eels. They are amphibians (a kind of salamander) but spend most of their time in water or mud. They can grow to be real monsters--up to four feet long.

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They are apparently fairly numerous, but not commonly seen and most of us spend our lives completely unaware of their existence, which is probably just fine with them. As for me, I doubt I will ever forget that first encounter on the dirt road in the forest.

We think this aquarium is a well-kept secret; but for those interested in the nature around us, it is well worth a drive.

There will be more in the following days.

4 comments:

Dani said...

The snappers are so neat!

David said...

Cool! Did they have the gators in the same tank with everything else?

wlhawh said...

I love the amphiuma.

S N B said...

It is the same water, but the tank is partitioned so the alligators are not feeding on everything.