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animals used for touch pools

Discussion in 'General Zoo Discussion' started by yousuf89, 6 Jul 2016.

  1. yousuf89

    yousuf89 Active Member

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    other than some sharks and rays, can anyone give me a list of animals (sea stars, sea anemones, sea urchins...etc) that can be seen in touch pools?

    if possible with latin name also

    I know some of them like

    Atlantic Horseshoe Crab (Limulus polyphemus)
    Purple Sea Urchin (Strongylocentrotus purpuratus)
    Chocolate Chip Sea Star (Protoreaster nodosus)
    Giant Green Anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica)
     
  2. HyakkoShachi

    HyakkoShachi Well-Known Member

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    Touch pools are generally modeled after tidepools, any shallow water inverterate that isn't venomous or delicate can be in a touch pool. Occasionally small quick moving fish species might be added for realism.
     
  3. animal_expert01

    animal_expert01 Well-Known Member

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    Chocolate chip sea cucumber (Istostichopus badionotus)
    Thorny sea star
    Banded sea urchin (Echinothrix calamaris)
    Blue green Chromis (Chromis viridis)
    Lol I have barely scratched the surface! Basically every brittle star, starfish, sea cucumber, horeshoe crabs and small fast moving fish sone even have a puffer or trigger and as HyaccoShaci said they are based of tide pools meaning most animals in touch pools can be found in touch pools.
     
    Last edited: 9 Jul 2016
  4. temp

    temp Well-Known Member

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    Those are some of the least suitable species for a touch pool you could ever imagine. A long-spined sea urchin with highly brittle spines and two fish families that are very happy to bite anything and have beaks that easily can remove the tip of a finger.

    Anyhow, as mentioned by earlier posters, the list of species that can and are placed in touch pools is virtually endless. Pretty much:

    -Any robust and non-venomous/non-poisonous sea star.
    -Any robust brittle star.
    -Any robust non-venomous sea urchin with short or blunt spines.
    -Any robust snail.
    -Any sea anemone that isn't venomous to humans.
    -Any robust crustacean where the claws aren't too dangerous (although I've seen Homarus lobsters and big Cancer crabs in touch pools with claws that were closed with rubber bands, I question the ethics of this).
    -Any robust fish that isn't dangerous (bite, sting, sharp scales, poisonous skin secretion, etc) as long as the touch pool is large enough to allow the fish to avoid humans.
    -etc
     
  5. animal_expert01

    animal_expert01 Well-Known Member

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    Well underwater world has banded sea urchins in their touch pool...
    And many other Aquarians also have puffers or triggers. Yousuf89 asked what animals can be found in touch pools not what animals are appropriate for them.
     
    Last edited: 9 Jul 2016
  6. temp

    temp Well-Known Member

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    For someone considering himself an animal expert (per your user name), I do urge you to sometimes reconsider before you make a claim. You've done this before. This is especially relevant when it involves direct contact with potentially dangerous animals.

    There are no triggers that are "non-bitey" and suitable for a touch tank. They simply don't exist. Even the relatively relaxed species like Xanthichthys would bite anyone persistently trying to touch it, as expected in a touch tank. And they're pretty smart too. Once they've learned that biting stops the "attacker", they would start doing it instantly to people placing their hands in the water, even before attempting to touch the fish. The only "non-bitey" puffers are tiny species that are unsuitable on that basis alone (e.g. 3-cm dwarf puffer) or with highly toxic skin secretion (e.g. Canthigaster). Even if a larger, peaceful puffer actually had existed, it would rapidly become stressed from touching and nuke the entire tank (AKA release their toxins into the water, causing everything, sometimes including the puffer itself, to die). Boxfish, which are less bitey, would also nuke everything.

    The fact that you can find an aquarium that has a species in a touch tank doesn't mean it is suitable for it. For example, Boise had a touch tank with rabbitfish, large surgeonfish and puffer! In Thailand (or Malaysia? I'll have to check my mails) I saw a touch pool where one of the rocks was covered in zoanthids! In theory, everything can be put in a touch tank. In reality, nope. Fortunately, most aquariums have enough common sense and knowledge to avoid the problematic species in touch tanks. I might add that certain peaceful invertebrates that regularly are seen in touch tanks really don't belong there. For example, although several species of sea stars are very suitable, some species require large sections of mature sandbed to survive long term. Few touch tanks have that.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jul 2016
  7. animal_expert01

    animal_expert01 Well-Known Member

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    Well it depends... Yes you are Deffiently right, they are not appropriate in a public Aquariam but in a small private one in your home certain triggers and puffers can be extremely affectionate to their owners. Yousuf89 didn't say he was specifically referring to touch pools in public areas so don't immediately try to insult me when you don't know all the ins and outs of what I meant.
     
    Last edited: 9 Jul 2016
  8. yousuf89

    yousuf89 Active Member

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    aren't all sea anemones are venemous
    I mean what kind of sea anemone that isn't venomous to humans?

    well other than the giant green anemone (Anthopleura xanthogrammica)
    (well that's I heard of I think)
     
  9. temp

    temp Well-Known Member

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    It wasn't ment as an insult. I was only warning against your highly risky suggestion. If you don't want that to happen please consider following the recommendation in the first paragraph of my previous post, especially when we're talking about direct contact with potentially dangerous animals.

    The name of the thread is "animals used for touch pools". A touch pool is quite clearly not a small personal aquarium and we're on a site called zoochat, not "my personal aquarium". If in the future you're responding to something else than the actual question posted in the thread, please say that clearly and we can avoid any misunderstandings.

    _________________

    All are venomous, including the giant green, but most sea anemone species are harmless to humans, either because their cnidocytes ("singing cells") are too small to penetrate human skin or because the venom has no effect on humans.
    The reason giant green's are sticky to touch is because they fire their cnidocytes into our skin, but it usually doesn't have any serious effect. A few people are more susceptible and/or thinner-skinned and can feel a slight burn when touching this species, and most who touch their eyes or lips after touching it will feel a burn too. Another reason it is important to wash your hands after a touch tank. Giant green and other species of Anthopleura are frequently used in touch displays because they're generally pretty harmless, large in size and able to withstand fluctuations in temperature (although they prefer cold water). Most other large species that are essentially harmless are far less tolerant of temperature fluctuations (e.g. Metridium strictly require cold water). Interestingly both Actinia and Urticina seem to be more random. I have freely touched several species in either genus without ever feeling anything, but two of my friends react instantly. That obviously means they're risky for touch tanks, even though Urticina along with Cribrinopsis sometimes are included (both are intolerant of warmer water, unlike Actinia).
    Unfortunately, most of the large sea anemones that tolerate tropical temperatures are entirely unsuitable for touch displays (Actinodendron, Cryptodendrum, Dofleinia, Phyllodiscus, Stichodactyla, etc). I've seen Heteractis [Radianthus] in tropical touch tanks, but that is very risky as I know aquarists who've been seriously tagged by it.
     
    Last edited: 9 Jul 2016
  10. Batto

    Batto Well-Known Member

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    This might go a little off topic, but the whole “touch tank“ concept, no matter how popular and educative, should be critically evaluated in regard to animal welfare, public health and visitor safety (as the above examples of potentially harmful species in such tanks also indicate). I remember a presentation at an AAZV conference regarding horseshoe crabs and their physiological inaptness for such touch pools scenarios. The other day I visited a zoo with a cownose ray touch pool. It makes you think when you see people wipe their noses, eat or change a diaper in between dipping their hands into the tank...Maybe that scene in “Finding Dory“ will make a least some viewers reconsider visiting a touch pool in the future.
     
  11. Dassie rat

    Dassie rat Well-Known Member

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  12. overread

    overread Well-Known Member

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    Batto another aspect I think that is important to consider is duration and scale of use. I recall discussions regarding mammals and touch areas at some zoos/centres and talk of how not only has one got to consider the temperament of the animals; but also how that can change over time in reaction to continued random touching and petting. Ergo how some will exhibit placid or accepting behaviour early on; but over time can become more resistive and disturbed/stressed by such actions - thus necessitating them to be rotated out for a period of time to settle again before being reintroduced.

    Of course this all links back to scale and pressures; some smaller places might well get away with some species due to the lack of use or small visitor numbers; whilst more active sites might well have to be far more picky and selective due to the increased stresses impacted upon species by increased volume of touching.


    It's a funny thing touching because we humans love to touch; yet we respect that we don't always like to be touched yet don't always associate that with animals. Indeed many animals are almost advertised/shown/portrayed as loving to be touched even though they might not actually want to be all the time.