A picture from Särkänniemi aquarium
We saw some dolphins during the project trips, when we were in Särkänniemi on May 3rd 2003. It is the northernmost dolphinarium in the world. It has been opened in 1985.
The bottlenose dolphins at Särkänniemi are curious and playful. They help us to understand the behaviour of this lively member of the whale family, and their life in the ocean.
Dolphins performing in Särkänniemi
The performances are a game they play with their trainers. Many of the tricks are invented by dolphins themselves. We were also there and watched the dolphin show. I think that everyone of us were satisfied. There are six dolphins in Särkänniemi. Four of them have lived there for 12 years. Two of them were born there. The adult dolphin is about 2,5 meters long, and is weighs over 200 kilos.
Dolphins sleep near the surface almost stationary. Even when they sleep they go to the surface to breathe every few minutes. They sleep on an average eight hours a day. Dolphins eat different kinds of fish. They swallow the entire food in one. Dolphin moves on an average eight kilometers per hour. The maximum depth that they can dive is 500 meters, and they can jump even 4 to 5 meters above the surface. We witnessed the dolphins jumping during the show.
The favourites of Särkänniemi aquarium are iquana and blue damselfish.
The iguana comes from Central America. In the wild, fully grown iguanas often live in trees by the waterside. If they are disturbed, they can drop into the water and hide amongst the vegetation there. Younger iguanas spend most of their time on the ground.
Iguanas grow to be large creatures: there have been records of iguanas that are over two meters long, and the over twenty years old. Male iguanas do not get along with each other, but females are more sociable.
The blue damselfish
The enchantingly beautiful blue damselfish belongs to the family of damselfish. Damselfish are usually very colourful. They can be very particular about their own territory, and they often prefer to swim alone or in small shoal.
In Ähtäri zoo where we visited you could see the otter. The otter belongs to mustelids and is a predator found all over Finland. During the past decades the number of otters has decreased in Europe. Elsewhere in Finland the number of otters is on the rise due to conservation. The otter is a night animal like other predator mammals, but the tamed individuals living in animal parks like to show off their swimming skills to the public during the daytime as well. The otter is a virtuoso in swimming but it spends most of its time on land.
The otter eats mainly fish. Otters are not cold in winter. They can swim and slide in cold weather, but then the nest has to be warm and dry.
Editor(s): Jonna Lehtomäki, Henna Kettinen
Modified: 20.5.2003 15:48