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Thursday, July 22, 2010

A Visit to the Shedd

Yesterday, some of the DNA Disco interns and other interns working in the Field went on a “behind-the-scenes” tour of the Shedd Aquarium. The normally over-crowded museum was much calmer when we were taken above the exhibit tanks to the opening of the pools where the divers enter. We were able to go up close and personal with animals like zebra sharks, butterfly fish, a gigantic catfish, and the most endangered iguana in the world. Some of the most memorable moments happened when our tour guide fed a tank full of trout who jumped wildly and ended up splashing all the interns or when everyone got scared as the 80 pound catfish unexpectedly made a loud noise as it engulfed a treat .

My favorite moment during the tour happened at the very end. We walked toward a white tank, the tour guide pulled the top off, stuck a long stick in the tank, and pulled out a bright orange octopus. We were all able to touch the octopus, being careful near his tentacles. The octopus had great suction strength, and when our hands touched his tentacles they would stay there until we managed to break away from the suction cups on the octopus. Although physically working with animals is exciting, I would much rather spend my time working on their DNA.

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