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Red lionfish are beautiful fish that are becoming quite a problem for Florida. Lionfish are an invasive species to the Atlantic Ocean. An invasive species is an animal or plant that is introduced to a new habitat and negatively affects it. Florida has many invasive species due to its warm tropical climate.

In the case of the lionfish, they are destroying the local fish, shrimp, and crab populations by eating so many of them. Since lionfish have no natural enemy in the Atlantic Ocean, the lionfish population is exploding. Everyone has been trying to find a way to get rid of these pesky fish.

Lionfish

A Key Largo based REEF conservation organization has created a lionfish cookbook to create a demand for these fish to be caught and sold at fish markets. Their slogan is “Eat ‘em to Beat ‘em” and its true!  The faster we remove these fish the sooner the local biodiversity can return to what it was before the troublesome lionfish came to town.

Want to try it for yourself? Check out www.reef.org to buy the cookbook. Hopefully we’ll be seeing some of these delicious recipes in our local restaurants too!

Lionfish_Cookbook

Misty is an Animal Care Technician at the Science Center and is found in NatureWorks. Animals and Ecology are her passions and she jumps at every opportunity to talk about it. Stop in and say Hello!


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This just goes to show anyone can be a scientist, regardless of age. A class of 8-10 year olds was enlisted by Dr. Beau Lotto of LottoLabs in England to study bees. Dr. Lotto wanted a fresh look at old data but what he got was more than that; the kids had taken the assignment to heart and ended up uncovering new findings regarding how bees look for food and decide which flowers might have the most nectar.

For the full story, check out: http://rsbl.royalsocietypublishing.org/site/misc/BlackawtonBees.xhtml

"They can because they think they can." - Virgil, Roman epic poet

BlackawtonBees


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Researchers at Hetaoping Research and Conservation Center in China believe that dressing up as a panda while working with captive born panda cubs is beneficial to the animals living a normal life in the wild. The panda suit helps the panda cub imprint on pandas instead of humans. Imprinting is a behavioral adaptation that gives an animal its identity and gives it an image of what its future mate should look like and what to guard its territory against.In the wild, animals imprint upon their parents.

However in captivity, there are lots of humans around who interact with the young cub, taking measurements and giving it health exams, that the cub might imprint on humans and think it is human. This may sound silly, but this occurs quite often with young birds. Animals who imprint on humans do not survive well in the wild, thus the hope that the researchers dressed as a panda will help the young panda cub imprint on pandas and live a successful life in the wild.

Panda Dress Up

Check out these websites to see more pictures and learn more information about their research:

latimesblogs.latimes.com/unleashed/2010/12/panda-costume.html

www.nypost.com/p/news/international/this_li_panda_getting_tricked_treated_qFs21U8AAdrvsu7lYhnf3H

Misty is an Animal Care Technician at the Science Center and is found in NatureWorks. Animals and Ecology are her passions and she jumps at every opportunity to talk about it. Stop in and say Hello!


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Hi - My name is Jim White and I provide public programming using the Science Center's Hitach S-3500N scanning electron microscope (SEM). The Orlando Science Center is one of the few places in the US where the public can get up close and personal with an SEM and see its capabilities. The SEM has many advantages over light/optical microscopes and I will explain those in future posts. Some of its capabilities include high magnification (up to 100,000X in optimum conditions) and elemental analysis.

I choose from a variety of samples to observe each day I am here. Some of the items we have observed in the past include bugs, fibers, and coins.

Currently, I mainly do programs on a few weekend days a month. I will be posting my schedule as it is firmed up so you will know when I will be here and you can, hopefully, come by the SEM laboratory on Level 4 at the back of DinoDigs.

I will be posting a new blog at least every two weeks and will be talking about items dealing with the SEM as well as other subjects that I think you will find interesting.

Hope to see you soon,
"SEM Jim"


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Yves Rossy's Jetpack Flight

Check this guy out!

Yves Rossy

Yves Rossy, Swiss Pilot and Inventor, successfully tested and flew a new version of his personal Jetpack on November 5, 2010, and successfully completed two full loops. Many may think this inventor is just another extreme sports nut or perhaps a Boba Fett wanna be, but his invention has made the dream of personal aircraft transportation one step closer to reality. He uses a Hot Air Balloon to launch and a Parachute to land, but in between is all personal flight, controlled by Yves himself.

Visit the Jetman’s Website at www.jet-man.com or watch his flight video below. Very Cool!


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Think about a shallow tide pool that is subject to enormous changes in salinity, temperature, and water level. Now try to imagine the deepest, coldest, darkest part of the ocean, which is over 36,000 feet underwater. The open ocean covers nearly 70% of our entire planet, with an incredible abundance of all kinds of life.

In doing some research for an upcoming floor program on the different ocean animals and the zones of the ocean they live in, I read about an amazing program called the Census of Marine Life, which is a ten year project to try and document life in the ocean from all different locations and depths. The ultimate goal of the project was to develop a better understanding of the ocean and its inhabitants by researching the number of species, where they live, and how many live there. It is hard enough to try and keep track of a few fish in a fish tank, let alone to try and document all the species in the ocean!

If you are interested in learning more visit: www.coml.org.

Antarctic Ice Fish


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Hello everyone! Hope your week is going well. Those who have been to KidsTown this past week have seen the scaffolding that went from KidsTown floor all the way up to the fourth floor. We had a team of people using the scaffolding to place tint on all of our windows. This will help us to keep KidsTown and other places in the building cooler during the warmer parts of the year and will also help us to conserve energy.

As most of you may have experienced, this week has not been one of our warmer parts of the year, it has been quite chilly. Now is a good time to talk about what happens when things cool down or even freeze. What is the freezing point of water? How are snowflakes formed? What conditions are required to have snow fall? Why is it that we do not have usually have snow in Florida?

Here are some fun activities to do as you explore these questions: www.sciencekids.co.nz/experiments/snowflake.html and www.dltk-holidays.com/winter/3dsnowflakes.htm.


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777 E. Princeton Street • Orlando, Florida 32803 • Phone: 407.514.2000 • TTY: 407.514.2005 • Toll Free: 888.OSC.4FUN • Email: [email protected]
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