Monday, April 29, 2013

Tide Pool Collecting, April 2013

Another low tide, another opportunity for a Science Center team to collect interesting animals and artifacts for our Puget Sound Saltwater Tide Pool.

On Saturday, April 27th a sturdy group of collectors, permit in-hand, hit the cloudy beaches. This time our crew was comprised of Animal Caretakers Chris Russell and Maida Ingalls, Animal Care Intern Morgan, and Science on Wheels Instructor Andrea Rockwood.

While out on the sandy beach, they were able to collect (as allowed by our Fish and Wildlife permit) a variety of marine organisms. Here's a round-up of what they brought back:

4 - Moon Snail egg cases
Moon snails create an egg case using a combination of mucous and sand, laying their eggs in this mixture that then hardens up and often gets confused for trash. They chose not to bring back any actual moon snails due to the animal's aggressive appetite for anemones and other sea life we house in our Tide Pool.

14 – Sea Anemones
They also came back with several different species of sea anemones, including aggregate anemones (which like to clump together in large numbers on rocks on the beach), plumose anemones (which look like feather dusters), and a single green anemone.

5 – Burrowing Sea Cucumbers
They were lucky find so many sea cucumbers! These animals are usually hard to collect because of their ability to cling onto rocks and quickly burrow into the sand.

1 - Hairy Gill Worm
The team also came across a hairy gill worm, a new animal for the tide pool! We all look forward to learning more about this strange animal.

Other animals collected include fifteen hermit crabs, five ochre sea stars, barnacles on rocks, some chitons and limpets, shelled invertebrates that have survived for hundreds of thousands of years!

When you visit sea life at the beach, remember to leave animals where you find them and as you found them. Lifting rocks can be especially hurtful to the animals living below. And the next time you visit Pacific Science Center come see our newest tide pool residents. It’s a much dryer and warmer environment for observing sea creatures this time of year!

Our sincere thanks to long-time Pacific Science Center volunteer John Aurelius and the Indianola Beach community for allowing access to their shores.

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Saturday, April 27, 2013

Fresh Sheet – April 27, 2013

This week’s pupae shipments include big and little white Morphos, a trio of Prepona/Archaeprepona, three subspecies of Parthenos sylvia and quite the variety of Graphium species! Enjoy!

El Salvador

10 - Archeoprepona demophoon (Hubner’s Prepona)
25 - Battus belus (Belus Swallowtail)
25 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
15 - Catonephele numilia (Halloween Butterfly)
12 - Dryadula phaetusa (Banded Orange Heliconian)
08 - Eurytides thymbraeus
10 - Heliconius erato (Small Postman)
10 - Lycorea cleobaea (Large Tiger)
30 - Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
10 - Morpho polyphemus small (White Morpho)
25 - Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
20 - Papilio androgeus (Queen Page)
10 - Papilio cresphontes (Giant Swallowtail)
08 - Papilio pilumnus (Three-tailed Swallowtail)
10 - Papilio torquatus (Band-gapped Swallowtail)
10 - Parides iphidamas (Transandean Cattleheart)
18 - Parides photinus (Queen of Hearts)
20 - Prepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
20 - Prepona omphale (Blue Belly-Button)
14 - Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)

Total = 310


10 - Athyma perius (Common Sergeant)
10 - Cethosia biblis (Red Lacewing)
10 - Cethosia cyane (Leopard Lacewing)
10 - Charaxes castor (Giant Charaxes)
10 - Charaxes cithaeron (Blue-spotted Charaxes)
10 - Charaxes protoclea (Flame-bordered Charexes)
10 - Charaxes varanes (Pearl Charexes)
10 - Doleschalia bisaltide (Autumn Leaf)
10 - Graphium angolanus (Angola White Lady)
10 - Graphium antheus (Large Striped Swordtail)
12 - Graphium colonna (Mamba Swordtail)
10 - Graphium policenes (Small Striped Swordtail)
30 - Hypolimnas bolina (Blue moon)
10 - Idea leuconoe (Paper Kite)
10 - Junonia almana (Peacock Pansy)
10 - Papilio demodocus (Orchard Swallowtail)
10 - Papilio lowii (Sunset Swallowtail)
10 - Papilio nireus (Blue-banded Swallowtail)
10 - Papilio polytes (Polite Swallowtail)
10 - Parthenos sylvia lilacinus (Blue Clipper)
10 - Parthenos sylvia philippensis (The Clipper)
10 - Parthenos sylvia violaceae (Violet Clipper)
10 - Tirumala limniace (Blue Tiger)

Total = 252

Grand Total = 562

“Fresh Sheet” is our weekly shipment report of pupae on display in the emerging window. Visit Pacific Science Center’s Tropical Butterfly House and meet our newest residents.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Zea the Corn Snake

On April 22, the Animal Care department suffered an unexpected loss when staff found Zea, the well loved and colorful corn snake, dead in her enclosure.

Zea had been one of our most trouble free snakes, and in her last weeks appeared normal. She ate well, and was often seen in the same spots doing the same behaviors she had always done.

Zea came to Pacific Science Center in 2004, as a gift to the organization. We do not know her age upon arrival, but celebrated her “birthday” as the date we got her.

Zea took some time to learn the ways of Pacific Science Center. A corn snake who is not accustomed to being handled will often feel insecure while being held, and try to find her way back to the safety of her enclosure. Zea had a way of doing this, which she gradually overcame with scheduled socialization time from staff.

Finally we knew she felt confident in our routine when she developed a very odd and somewhat troublesome habit. You see, our Presentation staff transports snakes from their cages to the demonstration stage in a carrier. Zea soon developed a practice of using the carrier as a handy place to go to the "restroom" after the show. When she continued with the habit for several shows, we figured she had probably formed a connection with the carrier as a good place to do her business away from her cage. She was a smart snake!

When the handler she had been working with left the Science Center, the habit ended. Zea never did her little trick for anyone else.

One Presentation staff member describes Zea as a snake who was the model of a team player. She would snuggle into pockets or slide into the cuffs of sleeves, but always peeped her head out to watch the crowd who was watching her.

Without even trying, Zea taught many kids about genetics. Her colors were due to a form of albinism called an amelanistic mutation. Her body made red pigments but not black ones. This is why she lacked the dark markings seen on most corn snakes, and why her eyes were pink. Perhaps because their colors are so interesting, corn snakes are often less intimidating than other snake species.

Zea’s lovely markings and willingness to interact with her handlers endeared her to all who worked with her. We will miss her.

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Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day

As most everyone knows, today is Earth Day, an annual event begun in 1970 to support environmental awareness. And as in the past few years, some staff and volunteers at Pacific Science Center will be out on litter patrol of our grounds.

This important yet simple ritual is organized by the PSC Green Committee in conjunction with the Life Sciences Horticulture Department. Sarah Moore and her teams of trash picker-uppers will be out in force beginning at 11:30 am. Participants will conclude their cleanup activities with a potluck. If you happen to see them, say “Hi!”

Here are some photos from previous Green Committee litter patrols.

One lucky patroller found cash!

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fresh Sheet – April 20, 2013

What better way to celebrate Earth Day Weekend than a visit to Pacific Science Center? Join in this year's festivities and stop by our Tropical Butterfly House. You won't want to miss our latest arrivals.

Costa Rica

14 - Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
08 - Caligo atreus (Yellow-Edged Giant-Owl)
46 - Caligo eurilochus (Forest Giant Owl)
83 - Catonephele numilia (Numilia)
11 - Hamadryas laodamia (Starry Calico)
71 - Heliconius cydno (Cydno Longwing)
40 - Heliconius doris (Doris Longwing)
45 - Heliconius hecale (Tiger Longwing)
13 - Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
40 - Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
27 - Myscelia cyaniris (Blue Wave Butterfly)
06 - Nessaea aglaura (Aglaura Olivewing)
19 - Papillio anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
81 - Papilio thoas (Thoas Swallowtail)

Total = 504

“Fresh Sheet” is our weekly shipment report of pupae on display in the emerging window. Visit Pacific Science Center’s Tropical Butterfly House and meet our newest residents.

Read more!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fresh Sheet – April 13, 2013

It may not feel like spring in Seattle but it’s always warm in our Tropical Butterfly House. Stop in, warm up and enjoy the beauty!

El Salvador

16 - Archeoprepona demophoon (Hubner’s Prepona)
10 - Battus belus (Belus Swallowtail)
30 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
16 - Catonephele numilia (Numilia)
08 - Eurytides thymbraeuss(White-crested Swallowtail)
30 - Heliconius charitonius (Zebra Longwing)
15 - Lycorea cleobaea (Large Tiger)
10 - Morpho peleides (Blue Morpho)
20 - Morpho polyphemus (White Morpho)
20 - Myscelia ethusa (Royal Blue Butterfly)
13 - Papilio androgeus (Queen Page)
10 - Papilio cresphontes (Giant Swallowtail)
10 - Parides iphidamas (Transandean Cattleheart)
08 - Parides montezuma (Montezuma Cattleheart)
08 - Parides photinus (Queen of Hearts)
30 - Archeoprepona demophon (One-spotted Prepona)
10 - Prepona omphale (Blue Belly-Button)

Total = 264


40 - Battus polydamas (Polydamus Swallowtail)
20 - Heraclides thoas (Thoas Swallowtail)
05 - Heraclides anchisiades (Ruby-spotted Swallowtail)
12 - Heliconius melpomene (Postman)
25 - Dryas iulia (Julia Longwing)
35 - Catonephele orites (Orange-banded Shoemaker)
40 - Anartia amathea (Scarlet Peacock)
23 - Archeoprepona demophoon (Hubner’s Prepona)
10 - Hypna clytemnestra (Silver-studded Leafwing)
40 - Caligo memnon (Owl Butterfly)
15 - Mechanitis polymnia (Polymnia Tigerwing)
05 - Tithorea harmonia (Harmonia Tigerwing)

Total = 270

Grand Total = 534

“Fresh Sheet” is our weekly shipment report of pupae on display in the emerging window. Visit Pacific Science Center’s Tropical Butterfly House and meet our newest residents.

Read more!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Fresh Sheet – April 6, 2013

Pacific Science Center is flying purple and gold for "Paws on Science" University of Washington Husky weekend. Come join the fun!


30 - Papilio palinurus (Banded Peacock)
80 - Papilio lowii (Sunset Swallowtail)
80 - Idea leuconoe (Paper Kite)
50 - Doleschalia bisaltide (Autumn Leaf)
06 - Graphium agamemnon (Tailed Jay)
40 - Pachliopta kotzeboea (Pink Rose)
50 - Cethosia biblis (Red Lacewing)
40 - Hypolimnas bolina (Blue moon)
40 - Parthenos sylvia philippensis (The Clipper)
07 - Papilio rumanzovia (Crimson Swallowtail)

Total = 423

“Fresh Sheet” is our weekly shipment report of pupae on display in the emerging window. Visit Pacific Science Center’s Tropical Butterfly House and meet our newest residents.

Read more!