Island Gazette

Aquarium continues ???Octopus on the 8s???

On the 8th day of May, June, July and August, North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher will celebrate that fascinating eight-legged wonder, the octopus, and its various aquatic cousins.  This once-a-month festival, called ‘Octopus on the 8s,’ focuses most of the aquarium’s daily programs on octopuses, squids and cuttlefish – all members of the cephalopod class of the phylum known as mollusk. The eight-armed animal called octopus has fascinated mankind for centuries.  Sailors called them the “devil fish” and invented stories of massive monsters that could take down a ship.  Fossils of octopus-like creatures nearly 300 million years old have been found in various locations around the word.  Many cultures have relied on the 289 species of octopus as a food source, and employed their ink for uses as diverse as spaghetti sauce and dye for olives. Scientists believe the octopus may be more intelligent than the dog, and have trained them to open jars and solve puzzles.   Every free and paid program on the 8th of each month will feature either the octopus or one of its relatives – squids, cuttlefish and nautiluses.  Preschoolers can sign up for the Children’s Discovery Time, a special program delivered by an educator.  The newly renovated auditorium will feature an octopus film. Visitors touring the aquarium can watch the feeding of the octopus and the cuttlefish, and take their picture with an octopus-costumed staffer.
"Octopus on the 8s is a wonderful way to really learn about some of the most fascinating creatures in the sea,” said aquarium educator Stefanie Misner.  “All of the programs we offer on the eighth day of each month this spring and summer will give visitors an in-depth look at these amazing animals!”  The programs may include costumes, crafts, films, creative educational programs, and feedings, Misner said. 
The aquarium exhibits an octopus of the Octopus vulgaris species.  This octopus calls the waters off North Carolina home and can be seen seven days a week in the aquarium’s Oceans gallery.
N.C. Aquarium at Fort Fisher is located just south of Kure Beach, near the mouth of the Cape Fear River, on U.S. 421. The site is less than a mile from the Fort Fisher ferry terminal. Hours: 9 to 5 daily (closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day). Admission: $8 adults; $7 seniors; $6 ages 6-17. Free admission for: children under 6; registered groups of N.C. school children; N.C. Aquarium Society members.
The state’s three public aquariums are located at Fort Fisher, at Pine Knoll Shores, and on Roanoke Island.  Administered by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the aquariums are designed to inspire appreciation and conservation of North Carolina’s aquatic environments.  General information:  www.ncaquariums.com.
The N.C. Aquariums are accredited members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA).  AZA and its more than 200 members work together to build North America’s largest wildlife conservation movement, by engaging and inspiring 143 million visitors and their communities to care about and take action to help protect wildlife.


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