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2i and 3i Biology excursion to The National Aquarium Denmark

2i and 3i Biology went  behind the scenes at The National Aquarium Denmark Den Blå Planet) on 25 August 2016.

The Blue Planet
The National Aquarium Denmark/Den Blå Planet opened in 2013 close to the coast of Øresund and near the Copenhagen International Airport. It is a replacement for the old buildings in Charlottenlund where the aquarium was founded back in 1937. The new buildings were designed by Danish Architects 3XN, and the facility is remarkable for containing both temperate and tropical fresh and salt water. The aquaria in total contain 7 million litres of water of which 4 million alone are in the large tropical ocean tank.

Biology topics
In connection with 2i biology's topic ”Evolution and Biodiversity” and 3i's topic ”Ecology”, it was convenient to bring both classes one after the other.

Introductions and tours for both classes
3i arrived at 11 am and, after a quick introduction to the aquarium, they were released on their own before we met at the main entrance at 12:30 where the curator and technical manager Lars Skou Olsen gave a tour behind the scenes, introducing the students to the many challenges of running a modern aquarium. At 1 pm, we said goodbye to 3i, and 2i got a short introduction about natural selection after which they were set free to take a tour on their own. At 14:45 we assembled in front of the aquaria representing the great African lakes (Lake Victoria, Lake Tanganyika and Lake Malawi), where the students were given a talk about fish evolution, and at 15:10 we left the aquarium.

Impressions and more information
Thanks to Helena-Céline (3i), Yasmin Mirembe (3i) and Ana (2i) for providing the pictures. 
For more information about the aquarium, visit http://denblaaplanet.dk/en/

3i arrive at the aquarium

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3i students looking at Amphibia

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3i students looking at a mangrove

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3i students are drawing ”Dora”

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The beautiful but poisonous scorpion fish

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Sea dragons are masters of camouflage

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The tropical coral reef in all its colors

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Even a Danish stone reef can look exotic

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The male Cuckoo wrasse (blåstak) is the most colorful fish in Danish waters.

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Curator and Technical Manager Lars Olsen explains how the many fish tanks are taken care of

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Lars Olsen explains how the water is rinsed physically, chemically and biologically

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Tanks in the basement where fish are kept in quarantine

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The coral nursery where stony corals are grown before being placed in the aquarium

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The coral sea aquarium viewed from above

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3i students walk along the edge of the basin

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A view of the oceanarium from above

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Hammerhead sharks waiting for a snack

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2i in the Amazon forest

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The Arapaima (lurking behind several Pakus) is one of the largest freshwater fishes in the World

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Freshwater stingrays are beautiful.

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The Piranhas are a ”must” for visitors to the aquarium

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The Piranhas seen from above.

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