Wednesday, August 31, 2016

July 27 -- zoo, and the rest of the day

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The "Think Tank" is at one end of the above-ground cable transport system for orangutans.  Humans built the cables and towers, and the orangs furnish their own transport if they choose to move from one place to another along the cables.

Apparently it is sometimes possible for people to have a tug-of-war with an orangutan.  The part of the tugging aparatus that people can touch looks a bit like a rowing machine.  I didn't see what the orangs would pull on, if they felt like pulling.



A sign said this is Batang, who seems more interested in napping than in tugging, as she prepares for the arrival of her baby.



Orangs often have their grasping bits wrapped around other parts of their bodies when they are napping, I think.

I guess that makes perfect sense -- if you have evolved to live in trees, it makes sense that you'd be well advised to prefer hanging on to something all the time, even when you are asleep..........

I have tried to parse this out, but can't figure out what is her left foot and what is her right foot.  Orang big toes function a lot more like thumbs than our thumbs do.  But still.  I can't make sense of this.



We wandered on from the Think Tank, and found the aquarium.  I don't know what kind of creature this is.

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Clown fish, in a sea anemone.



A community of creatures.  I wonder how many different kinds we can see here.  And I wonder if their identical colors are a function of the light, rather than their "actual color" (whatever that may mean...).



California sea lion, earning dinner by producing requested behaviors.




The sea lion was rewarded with a fish for retrieving the frisbee.  I wonder if sea lions ever decide retrieving is intrinsically rewarding.  I know some pet cats will retrieve, so it's not just dogs who retrieve....

The zoo has a baby sea lion, which was not on exhibit when we were there.



Harbor seal.  I think I've got this one parsed (though I don't know why holding our tootsies up was preferable to relaxing and letting them be down).



This creature is the opposite of active and nervous!  This looks like a pretty peaceful face to me.


The other critter in this enclosure was much larger.  I believe it was another seal, perhaps a different kind of seal?  It was periodically hitting the water, making noise.  I could see it but not get a clear pic, as it was far over to the side, with lots of fence between it and me.



Time to head on back to the hotel to get hydrated and rested.

I do not know this plant. Big clusters of flowers, big leaves.  The individual flowers were maybe 1-2" long?



Closer crop.



The view from the hotel room.



Crows gather at dusk in our neighborhood.  Dozens and dozens, more and more as the weather gets colder.  Hundreds, when it's wintertime.  They collect in the tops of trees, as the decision about where to spend the night is negotiated.

It's no surprise that city crows would congregate on buildings.  We can see five in this image, and when they took off to go elsewhere, there were probably two dozen.

Interesting factoid -- Michigan crows caw, and the sound that east-coast crows make is different.  More of a nasal grunt.  (At least in Baltimore and Washington, DC.)  I wonder if this is dialectical or if their crows are different from ours physically, rather than just culturally.



Riding up in the glass-backed elevator.  The glass is not very clean, alas, and the camera was very eager to focus on the water spots.

Please enjoy the sunset, and disregard the mess between us and it.



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