Tag Archives: sea creatures

School’s in for Marine Life Lovers

Education Innovator Sir Ken Robinson recently noted: “A great teacher obviously knows their material, but the real skill is engaging them in the material, getting them excited and curious, and firing up their imaginations.”

And that’s where we come in!

Ocean Life Education delivers fun marine education incursions, where students are given the opportunity to interact with a variety of live marine creatures.

Our programs are all closely aligned with the Australian National Curriculum, delivering lessons across a broad range of topics including animal habitats, adaptations and classification.

Through carefully controlled contact, children learn why animals’ look and feel the way they do, how their bodies function, what their individual roles are in their environment and therefore why we need to look after them.

Responding to interactive learning

We understand all children are different and absorb information in different ways.

As passionate educators ourselves, the staff at Ocean Life Education value the importance of connecting students with their subject and showing them that science is a living, breathing part of their world.

Children respond extremely well to having real animals at their fingertips – this one-on-one experience provides a greater depth of understanding which leads to the desire to protect them.

Choose a program that suits current unit themes

What better way to understand Life Cycles, than to see one of our baby sharks at close quarters and observe the eggs they hatched from and note the often significant differences from their adult version?

We will tailor our programs to your classrooms’ current unit theme for all levels of school learning.

Leaders in environmental education

Ocean Life Education is proud to be involved in educating tomorrow’s leaders in environmental awareness and protection.

Our hope is to imprint in every Australian a sense of ownership and protectiveness of our marine environment, and together we will lead the world in the changes necessary for a healthy planet.

What to expect:

  • Linked to the Australian National Curriculum
  • Qualified and experienced Marine Educators
  • Live Marine Animal Interaction Blue linckia seastars, thorny seastars, black sea cucumber, tropical sea cucumber, sea urchins, fresh water turtle and baby bamboo shark 
  • Shark jaws, shells and fascinating artefacts in activity area
  • FREE colourful bookmark to take home!
  • FREE risk assessment
  • FREE coming to visit poster
  • FREE thorough supporting information, videos and blogs

What teachers think:

“ONE OF THE BEST INCURSIONS I HAVE EVER SEEN – KEEN, INTERESTING PRESENTERS WHO ARE TRULY PASSIONATE ABOUT THEIR SUBJECT!” Jasmine Molineux, Patricks Road State School, (Year 2) 2018

For more information, visit our School Programs page or Contact Us to request a program outline for your year level.

 

Jellyfish: Weird, Wonderful and a Dangerous sting

jellyfish

Image: swellnet.com

All jellyfish sting and that’s the unfortunate truth.

Every jellyfish fires out millions of little stinging cells called nematocysts, similar to a bee sting only much smaller and many more of them. The only difference is in the potency and the length of the sting barb and the reason for this variation is due to how they catch and eat their prey. Some jellies like to catch and eat small fish that are fast and agile. A jelly needs to subdue its prey fast so it doesn’t get damaged in the ordeal or escape. So some have very powerful neurotoxin venom and this is what can be dangerous to humans.

Common types of jellyfish

For years we have been aware of the dangers of the Box Jellyfish. It has the most powerful venom and is the largest of the dangerous Jellyfish. It has a reputation for causing fatalities, especially to those with predisposed heart or respiratory conditions.

The Bluebottle (or Man-o-war or Sea Wasp) is another common Jelly responsible for the greatest number of injuries to swimmers due to their numbers and being found further south than the Box Jellyfish.

In the last few years however, we have heard more about a much smaller but quite insidious fellow – the Irukandji. This guy is indeed a small species of Box Jellyfish, of which there are 16 different species. The two most common and responsible for most deadly stinging occurrences are the Carukia barnesi and Malo kingi.

These Irukandji grow anywhere from 5-25mm, each one with 4 long tentacles up to 1m in length. Their sting initially is moderately irritating with symptoms of their venom delayed anywhere between 5 to 120 minutes after. On average it takes 30 minutes for symptoms to appear and include severe lower back pain, nausea and vomiting, difficulty breathing, profuse sweating, severe cramps and spasms, and a feeling of impending doom. Some species also cause severe hypertension (high blood pressure). Irukandji syndrome can be fatal, but generally is not. Hospitals throughout tropical and subtropical Australia have good evidence-based protocols for managing Irukandji syndrome, and most people stung make a full recovery.

Alarming research into the Irukandji

Scientists from James Cook University Townsville Queensland have made some alarming recent discoveries about the Irukandji.

Unlike all other jellyfish known to science, Irukandji have stinging cell on their medusa (dome/bell), believed to be an adaptation to sting prey from anywhere on their body due to their small size to increase their chance of catching prey. The other worrying feature is that the most well-known immediate remedy for jellyfish stings, vinegar, actually promotes the discharge of venom into Irukandji victims up to 50% more. Scientists believe this increase to be of lethal consequence and now advise avoiding use of vinegar on victims if unsure what type of jellyfish was responsible. Blue Bottles and Box Jellyfish have fairly easy to detect stinging marks, thus vinegar in those cases is still suggested.

What does this mean for us?

It is now well documented the occurrence of these jellyfish in waters as far south as Hervey Bay and Fraser Island. It is evident that with increasing water temperatures (1 to 2 degrees over the past few years) has led to a migration of Jellyfish including Irukandji into more southern waters. How far south will they go, no one can say for certain, but awareness and vigilance is required when visiting beaches and reefs all over Queensland. Being prepared and knowing what to do is important for our safety and wellbeing.

And a final note, this is not a case for hysteria. There have been some false identifications of Irukandji and bigger box jellyfish in recent months. The morbakka or Moreton Bay Jellyfish is related but nowhere near as dangerous.

Learn more

If you’re interested in learning more about the Weird & Wonderful creatures of the Sea, check out our school holiday program or invite us to your school to deliver a curriculum-based program.

Weird & Wonderful vacation care program

weird wonderful flyer

We’re introducing a new school holiday program for the upcoming September school holidays.

The Weird & Wonderful Creatures of the Sea program is an opportunity for students to discover amazing facts about extraordinary sea creatures.

This interactive program will intrigue students while teaching the important message of caring for our environment. Get up close and touch live marine creatures and explore artefacts and games.

In this program, students will discover:weird and wonderful puffer fish

  • Crocodile fish, Zebra fish, Lion fish & Elephant fish
  • Nudibranchs aren’t Rude!
  • Stargazers don’t just look at stars
  • Why Razor fish don’t cut they hide
  • Puffers & Poisons
  • Miraculous Mudskippers & Anglerfish Antics

Students will be surprised at the diversity of bizarre looking creatures in the ocean!

Contact us to book a Weird & Wonderful Creatures of the Sea program for your September school holiday calendar.