Six Types of
There are all types of eaters that congregate around the table during the Thanksgiving holiday. We have all kinds of eaters here at the Aquarium, too!
We’ve compiled a few videos that might remind you of some of the eaters gathering around your turkey feast.
1. The Vegetarian Grazer
Example: Myrtle the green sea turtle
No turkey for this feaster. The sides are where it’s at. Bring on the Brussels sprouts, broccoli, peppers, and lettuce!
The Vegetarian Grazer
While Myrtle isn’t actually a strict vegetarian (she eats squid now and then and loves it), her diet is mostly vegetables. Staff perch on top of the Giant Ocean Tank and drop in healthy vegetables for this big lady, who weighs in at nearly 530 pounds. As green sea turtles are grazers in the wild, Myrtle is also fed several times a day. This also means that Myrtle doesn’t pester the divers while they’re feeding other animals!
Divers are in the tank feeding four times a day! Check it out at 10:30 and 11:00 a.m. and 2:30 and 3:30 p.m.
2. The Freaky Feaster
Example: Common Cuttlefish
Some people eat so fast you don’t even know how the food gets to their mouth, and maybe that’s a good thing.
The Freaky Feaster
Have you ever seen a cuttlefish eat? It’s wild! They shoot out their grasping tentacles to nab a fish or a piece of shrimp, and then they pull it into their mouths in the middle of their tentacled arms. It happens so fast we had to slow it down, shooting 500 frames per second using a Photron FASTCAM SA5. For perspective, typical video is taken at around 30 frames per second, which you can see after each slow-motion clip in the video above.
The cuttlefish are fed at various time during the day. Catch it if you can!
3. The Eat-and-Run Crowd
Lots of Thanksgiving feasters have to spread the holiday among many homes. They take in one meal and then head out to the next house!
The Eat-and-Run Crowd
The penguins at the Aquarium are hand fed twice a day. Our biologists deliver a tasty assortment of restaurant-quality fishes, including capelin, smelt, trout, and sardines. This energetic bunch of eaters will often take a few fishes at a time (while the biologists note which penguins ate how much fish using their plastic clipboards) and then move on, either plopping in the water or waddling to a new spot on the rock.
Watch penguin feedings at the Aquarium every day at 9:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.
4. Frenzied Feasters
Example: Moray Eels
These frenzied eaters come out of the woodwork (or coral habitat, in this case) and bustle about, nagging the chef for the food. All the food.
Aquarists feed the eels morsels of fish, shrimp, and squid tentacles three to four times a week, usually in the early afternoon when visitors can get a good look at the action. And there’s plenty of action! This post takes you behind the scenes to see how they make sure each eel gets its fill of tasty and nutritious lunch.
5. Couch Potato-Speed Feasters
Example: Coral Cat and Epaulette Sharks
These clean-plate club members want to eat as fast as they can so they can get back to the couch.
Couch Potato-Speed Feasters
The adult coral cat and epaulette sharks like to pig-pile in cozy corners of their replica reef in our Science of Sharks exhibit. They eat every few days, and it happens in a blink. They dart out from their cozy hiding places, grab a few tasty morsels, and then settle back into their spots. This feeding happens before the Aquarium opens to the public, so this behind-the-scenes peek lets you get a feel for the feeding!
When you visit, see if you can find the sharks taking a walk around the reef in the Science of Sharks exhibit.
6. Contemplative Chompers
Example: Loggerhead Sea Turtles
You know the type, which really gets into the feast. They shovel an enormous forkful into their mouth and their eyes roll back in appreciation. Mmm-mmm!
The loggerhead turtles eat their breakfast at the bottom of the Giant Ocean Tank. Divers will thread a hunk of fish or squid onto a feeding stick and present it to the turtles. As you can see, the turtles take a chomp in true hungry-hungry-hippo style and chew, chew, chew. Notice how the divers have to use a rattle to call our blind loggerhead rescue, Retread, to the “table.”
Watch the turtles eat breakfast at the bottom of the Giant Ocean Tank at 10:30 a.m. most days.
While the Aquarium is closed Thursday in observance of the Thanksgiving holiday, we’ll be open bright and early on Friday for penguin feeding at 9 a.m.! And then turtle feedings. And eel feedings. And seal feedings. And fish feedings …