Stars of the Sea at SeaQuest

Stars of the Sea at SeaQuest

Seeing Stars:

Mostly known as the go-to fashion choice of mermaids, Sea Stars are one of the most iconic marine animals of all time! Known previously as the Starfish, Sea Stars are surprisingly not even fish! Fish have important anatomical parts like gills, scales, and fins; Sea Stars have none of these. Sea Stars are actually invertebrates just like sand dollars and corals, which you can also see at SeaQuest Roseville,, Minnesota.  Crustaceans (crabs and lobsters) are also invertebrates, but unlike crustaceans, Sea Stars do not have a shell! 

Movement in the Water:

WAIT, Sea Stars have no fins! So how do they MOVE? 

Sea Stars don’t stay still their whole lives, they don’t use the ocean’s tides to move along the ocean floor, so then how do they move? Sea Stars typically have five “legs” that surround their body, this is what creates the radial symmetry of their shape. Underneath each one of the legs of a Sea Star sits hundreds of “feet” that allow them to walk along the floor of the ocean. Recent research has shown that these feet have a natural glue that allows Sea Stars to stick to rocks and coral so that the tides do not wash them away! Another interesting fact about the legs of a Sea Star is that they can regenerate. If a Sea Star loses a leg due to a predator, it can grow a new arm later (although this can take about a year to grow back).

Strange Bodies:

We know all about the legs of a Sea Star now, but what about everything else? Sea Stars actually have no brain and no blood! They use filtered seawater to pump nutrients through their nervous system. This is also the reason that Sea Stars can’t survive in freshwater. Sea Stars also live long lives compared to most sea creatures. The average lifespan is 35 years!

Eating Habits:

One of the most interesting things about Sea Stars is how they eat! Sea Stars have two stomachs, creating a two-part eating system. The first stomach leaves the body once the Sea Star finds its prey and produces a digestive enzyme onto the prey to break down, then the second stomach then eats and digests the prey.

Come Meet the Stars:

SeaQuest’s interactive exhibits at Roseville,, Minnesota have tanks where you can see and touch Sea Stars!

Learn more about SeaQuest Roseville,, Minnesota, our animals, and VIP specials when you sign up here.

 

A “Prickly” New Friend Joins Us at SeaQuest: The Crested Porcupine

A “Prickly” New Friend Joins Us at SeaQuest: The Crested Porcupine

Pokey, the Crested Porcupine:

With quills nearly a foot long, the Crested Porcupine is the world’s largest and (possibly) the scariest porcupine! Even though they look tough, we know what softies they really are. Come see for yourself and meet Pokey, the crested porcupine at SeaQuest Layton, Utah. 

We are so excited to add Pokey to the SeaQuest family! To book an interactive session with Pokey, use the calendar here.

Some “Sharp” Facts About Crested Porcupines:

  • The Crested Porcupine typically lives for about 20 years.
  • A Crested Porcupine is around 30-60 pounds (13-27 KG) and 2-3 feet (60-83 CM).
  • Crested Porcupines are nocturnal animals, meaning that they spend the day in their dens and forage for food at night.
  • Sharp, black and white quills cover the back of a Crested Porcupine, which becomes a crest for protection against predators.
  • Speaking of predators, the quills of a Crested Porcupine are so sharp that they can injure large predators like hyenas and lions!
  • When a Crested Porcupine is threatened, the quills vibrate and produce a “hiss” sound that wards off predators. 
  • Quills of a newborn Crested Porcupine are soft and will begin to harden just hours after birth!
  • Crested Porcupines are avid swimmers, but are not able to climb or jump well.

Think these Crested Porcupine facts are porcu-FINE? Then come see us at SeaQuest to learn more!

 

Learn more about SeaQuest Roseville, Minnesota, our animals, and VIP specials when you sign up here.

 

Comb Jellies: Rainbows in the Sea

Comb Jellies: Rainbows in the Sea

Comb Jellies at SeaQuest

Rainbows in the Ocean? Sounds crazy, we know! The Comb Jelly, scientifically known as Ctenophora, is a beautiful species of jellyfish that move through the ocean with the help of comb rows, or cilia, that reflect light. And you can see them at SeaQuest in Roseville, Minnesota. The light reflected off of these eight combs give off a rainbow or illuminating appearance. Comb Jellies are the largest animal to swim with the help of cilia, the largest Comb Jelly sizing in at 1.5 meters (that is about 4 ft 11 in). 

 

Here’s a shocker! Contrary to popular belief, Comb Jellies are not even Jellyfish at all! Comb Jellies belong to a separate category just for them called “Ctenophora.” This means that even though Comb Jellies are transparent (like Jellyfish), the combs that reflect light and help the jelly to swim put Comb Jellies in a world of their own!

Let’s take a look at some Illuminating facts about Comb Jellies:

  • Most Comb Jellies can detect chemical traces in the water to help them locate food!
  • The body of a Comb Jelly can expand its stomach to hold prey over half their size!
  • Jelly populations can be a tip-off to larger environmental issues since Comb Jellies are very sensitive to water quality!
  • Comb Jellies are 95% water, which allows them to float around much easier! 
  • Certain species of Comb Jellies have retractable tentacles that come from the middle of their bodies, these are called “lasso cells”!
  • The Comb Jellies that live in the deep ocean are red in color because at that depth predators cannot see the color red. 
  • According to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, the Comb Jelly is 500 million years old! 
  • Comb Jellies aren’t harmful to humans, meaning you can’t get stung, but they do not have any natural predators! 

These free-floating rainbow animals can be found in almost all marine waters and are truly a wonder of our oceans. What was your favorite Comb Jelly fact? 

 

Learn more about SeaQuest Roseville, Minnesota, our animals and VIP specials when you sign up here.

 

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