Saturday, July 19, 2014

Turn to Stone Page II

Only in this universe would talking to fossils be a perfectly sane way to demonstrate their authenticity.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Coming Soon: Turn to Stone

I haven't done a story arc for the comic since A Christmas Caudipteryx, back in the first year of this blog! These will likely be par for the course from now on for the comics that I put on here rather than on Tumblr. (The old "regular short strip" format evidently didn't work as well as I would've liked, so I might as well do things big when I do have the chance to post comics here!) This story has been a long time in coming - probably a sign that I'm better at coming up with these rather than one-off shorts for this. I debated a long time whether to do a cover picture or not for these, but I'm decidedly a fan of them, so here you are!

Tumblr Roundup 7/14/14

-Does the museum have horses and do the characters ride them?
-Have the characters encountered mammoths, saber-toothed cats, and giant ground sloths?
-Thoughts on pelycosaur-grade synapsids.
-Thoughts on Yutyrannus.
-Do children try to ride on Ebeff or other large dinosaurs at the museum?
-Have the characters dealt with rhinos?
-Thoughts on Raptor Red.
-Ostrom's thoughts on Dinosaur in Danger.
-Thoughts on Walking with Dinosaurs 3D.
-What do the characters usually eat?
-Can Savape present three mammalian apex predators she has caught?
-Is Jurassic Park the dinosaur version of a minstrel show?
-Have the characters encountered giant otters?
-Saying hello.
-Thoughts on macaws, amazons, and cockatoos.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Shinagawa Aquarium

The final destination of interest during my Tokyo trip was the Shinagawa Aquarium. The first series of tanks here featured recreations of several Japanese aquatic environments. Here are a few Japanese catfish.

A Japanese eel.

A spot-billed duck and (non-native) red-eared sliders.

Off to the side were a number of smaller tanks. One had this red gurnard and some schooling fish I can't identify.

A flatfish exhibit with a similar setup to one I saw at the Vancouver Aquarium.

A common octopus. Several individuals lived in this complex of tanks, connected with transparent tubing (part of one is visible in the background). Besides the tubing, other enrichment items such as seashells, jars, and flowerpots were also present.

Outside the main building, there was a dolphin tank that looked too small for the number of dolphins present.

There was also a display for Magellanic penguins, again much smaller than the one at the Sumida Aquarium.

A spotted seal lounging at an artificial breathing hole.

From here, one can overlook Shinagawa Park (which the aquarium is situated in). Some wild birds were out and about, such as the pair of spot-billed ducks and the white wagtail in this picture.

The spotted seal exhibit is one of the highlights of this aquarium. Here's the same seal at the breathing hole viewed from underwater. At some points the tank surrounds you on four sides and you can see seals pass overhead and beneath your feet.

Elsewhere on the lower floor, there's a large tank with one of those underwater tunnels that are so common at aquariums. Here's a large sea turtle.

A moray eel and a school of sea bass. One inhabitant of this tank that I don't remember seeing before but didn't get a picture of was a barracuda.

From a smaller tank just beyond, a bamboo shark or a catshark, I can't remember which.

Some upside-down jellyfish.

A number of archerfish. Across from them was a fairly standard coral reef setup.

Some axolotls. Across from them was a much larger tank that housed giant freshwater fish from varying locales.

Continuing onward, there were many displays on unusual adaptations. This is a South American leaffish.

A school of Indian glassfish and glass catfish.

An electric eel, really a big knifefish rather than an eel. Its tank was much more bare-bones than many other exhibits I've seen of this species.

A goby guarding a burrow entrance, probably that of its symbiotic partner, a pistol shrimp. However, the shrimp chose not to show itself that day.

A number of shark exhibits, including this model of a goblin shark, paved the way for a sand tiger shark tank near the aquarium exit. The tank itself looked a little small for such large fish, but on the whole the aquarium appeared to be well maintained despite its shortcomings.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Ueno Zoo Part VII: Other West Garden Exhibits

The majority of the remaining exhibits in the West Garden of the Ueno Zoo were displays of African animals. Many were species I'd frequently seen in other zoos, and as the zoo's closing time was swiftly approaching, I decided to omit most of those exhibits from my trip. However, there were a few exceptions.

The translation here is rather garbled, but it gets the point across.

This shoebill, however, was staying behind the glass-fronted part of its enclosure, beyond the reach of head- and hand-standing visitors.

In general, the zoo does a good job of providing its inhabitants with shelter while still allowing visitor viewing and many of the animals had both outdoor and indoor viewing areas. As it happened, most of them opted for their indoor accommodations on my visit. Here's an okapi, a species I haven't seen since my first trip to the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Wild Animal Park (long before I started this blog).

An exception from the African theme was this giant anteater, pacing around its exhibit. Other South American species, including maned wolves and two-toed sloths, were kept nearby.

Other neighbors were its African ecological counterparts, these aardvarks.

Japan really likes penguins. Everyone does, but it was particularly noticeable in that every zoological institution I visited on my trip had a penguin exhibit. After the giant tank at the Sumida Aquarium though, almost any other penguin display looked like a let-down.

Next up will be the final report from my Tokyo trip!