Future marine biologists

YOUNG visitors to a borough aquarium are being invited to try their hand at becoming marine biologists for the day.

As part of National Science Week, Tynemouth’s Blue Reef Aquarium is allowing youngsters the chance to take part in a series of free science-based activities and talks until Sunday, March 20.

Among the activities on offer are talks on biodiversity and habitat adaptations, demonstrations, observational experiences, quizzes and competitions.

Aquarists will also be holding talks on what is involved in working at the aquarium, and what it takes to become an aquarist.

Organiser Anna Etchells said: “National Science Week is an annual event to celebrate science, highlight its importance to our every day lives and, hopefully, get more people interested in the sciences in general.

“As part of the event we are undertaking a series of fun and entertaining observational experiments and activities around the aquarium.

“Studying the different species’ behaviour is very important to us in the aquarium.

“We will be asking children to become aquarists for the day and study different animal behaviours for us.

“The form includes background information on the species being studied and space for visitors to make notes on the specific behaviour of the creatures during their observations.”

Among the species included in the survey are otters, marmosets, tropical sharks, British sharks and clownfish.

“We wanted as wide a variety of species as possible with as many different behavioural characteristics,” added Anna.

“Certain sharks can move extremely quickly, whilst other species spend a lot of the daytime resting.

“Some animals, like otters are very active at specific times of the day.

“We’re looking to gather specific observations of individual creatures; how they interact with other members of their own species as well as their behaviour towards other creatures in the display.”