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ZooChat Cup finals: Chester vs Zurich *match extension*

Discussion in 'ZooChat Cup' started by lintworm, 6 Jan 2020.

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Chester vs Zurich: Aquatics

Poll closed 9 Jan 2020.
  1. Chester 3-0 Zurich

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. Chester 2-1 Zurich

    11.5%
  3. Zurich 2-1 Chester

    80.8%
  4. Zurich 3-0 Chester

    7.7%
  1. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    Indeed, that's exactly my point. :)
     
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  2. antonmuster

    antonmuster Well-Known Member

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    To clarify: Nowhere am I suggesting that these species are 'freshwater species' nor that these species should 'count' for this match. I can however see how one could read this into my post if the way one approaches these matches pivots on species lists.This however, is not how I approach these categories and matches. Instead, I ask myself 'how does zoo xyz feature freshwater habitats - and how do I like this?'. Hence, I was discussing the freshwater features within 'non-freshwater' species enclosures as they relate to the larger picture of how the zoo thematises freshwater 'biomes':

    Freshwater habitats such as rivers, ponds, or lakes traverse and permeate other terrestrial biomes. That is an important part of their nature, as is the fact that many 'non-freshwater' species interact with these habitats in important ways - be that as predators (e.g. a big cat fishing) or as 'gardeners' (e.g. elephants bathing and defecating into the water). I find it commendable, that the zoo attempts to design enclosures that are suggestive of such relationships. Hence my comment.

    Furthermore: The gelada enclosure also houses blue-winged geese, the carnivore ponds, as well as the elephant pools, house fish, and the lions share their enclosure with small-clawed otters (though temporally separated) in addition to the fish. Hence, even from a perspective that pivots entirely on species (which is not my perspective), the freshwater features in those enclosures arguably should count.

    Finally,
    Personally, I would absolutely be interested in such a discussion. Indeed, that is part of the reason, for my freshwater feature comment: How does Chester present and illustrate freshwater habitats throughout the zoo and beyond individual enclosures? Sometimes the whole is more than the sum of its parts and I agree with @HOMIN96 that such discussions can help get a feel for the zoos in question.
    As I have said, I think what Zurich attempts in this regard is commendable. To me it feels that the freshwater features throughout the zoo are not merely visitor props, but instead they often (also) serve a behavioral, enrichment, horticultural, or educational function in addition to looking nice and (often) very natural.
     
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  3. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    You do make good arguments and I have failed to adequately consider how doing things like having fish in big cat moats influences the game. I’m sorry about that, but I have been open in the past that sometimes issues aren’t ‘issues’ until they arise, and so sometimes I have to work out what to do as we go along. Please do bear in mind that nobody has ever attempted to create a zoo fantasy league format before! :)

    My instinct is to fall back on the fundamental point that these categories are supposed to facilitate the game itself, and where a certain interpretation of them undermines the function of the game it is the category, not the game that needs to give ground. A category that becomes so expansive that it could theoretically encompass the whole zoo is undermining the game.

    In this case, it is clear to me that the geese and fish are at best adjunct features of those exhibits: it’s not for nothing that we refer to ‘the gelada enclosure’ rather than the ‘geese enclosure’, and likewise for the fish in the lion pool. Acknowledging the imperfection that it causes, I think we do need to apply a common sense test to whether their presence means the exhibit as a whole becomes relevant to the theme under discussion. My common sense tells me that a zoo could put fish in a moat for just about anything, and that it - for want of a better word - ‘breaks’ the category to take such an expansive view.

    By all means, if you are a species-counter, factor the presence of geese and fish at the zoo into your overall thinking. But the exhibits in which they appear should not count. I also believe it will be fairly intuitive to identify when such a judgment should be made in future.
     
  4. antonmuster

    antonmuster Well-Known Member

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    I basically agree with this (besides the fact that it is your rules that count). Just to clarify a second time: It was neither my intention to make 'non-freshwater' species 'count', nor to make 'non-freshwater' exhibits 'count'. Instead, I made a side remark regarding freshwater features in otherwise terrestrial exhibits, because, across the entire zoo, I do feel they add something relevant to how the zoo presents the topic of freshwater habitats and their interconnectedness with other habitats.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2020
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  5. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    This match is being extended to bring it into line with changes to the category. The debate up until now has revolved around ‘freshwater’, but you can now also discuss marine and polar species and exhibits as part of the expanded Aquatics category.

    I’ve added an additional day, more or less, to give time to discuss how the new elements should affect your votes. If you vote in this poll, it supersedes your previous vote. Otherwise, your vote stands.

    For more info:
     
  6. antonmuster

    antonmuster Well-Known Member

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    Zurich: Marine
    In addition to the already discussed sweetwater (and one brackish) aquaria, Zurich has three large and deep, beautiful coral reef aquaria, two in the exotarium, one in the Masoala visitor center. The exotarium houses a third aquarium for, amongst others, garden eels and seahorses. Overall, Zurich's aquarium is comparatively small, with a small number of large aquaria (just 8 in total), but consistent with the zoo's philosophy, everything is designed to very high standards. For a more detailed documentation of the aquarium, refer to this link: L3P Architekten ETH FH SIA AG, 8158 Regensberg Schweiz Switzerland

    Exotarium
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    (image of the new aquarium shortly after construction)

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    Masoala
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    Poles
    Zurich houses Humboldt and king penguins, which share their indoor enclosures: During summers, the kings are in the refrigerated indoors, while the Humboldts are out, and during winters, the Humboldts are in the warm indoors, while the kings are out. The indoors is smallish (especially the pool) though probably adequate, while the outdoors is adequate though rather bland and unspectacular. Widely popular especially with kids is the daily king penguin parade, whenever daily temperatures do not exceed 10 degrees. Imo a nice touch for both the penguins and the visitors. Another imo nice feature from an educational, enrichment, and visitor perspective are live fish, which are occasionally placed in the penguin pools for hunting. Finally, (on a sidenote) the zoo entrance square features every extant penguin species on the planet in the form of realistic, life-sized statues - a feature also wildly popular with toddlers and small children.

    Penguins
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    Similar to the penguins, the harbour seals live in an adequate but somewhat outdated exhibit. The circular underwater viewing windows have been enjoying cult status with toddlers for many generations.

    Harbour seal
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    Last edited: 8 Jan 2020
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  7. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    Just a note on the seals:
    It's not adequate IMO, much too small (and I say that as the person who took the photos above)
    What's worse, Chester get extra points for turning their own pinniped exhibit into such a fantastic giant otter enclosure.
     
  8. antonmuster

    antonmuster Well-Known Member

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    This has been emphasized multiple times. I am curious. A more detailed discussion in word or image would be really helpful and interesting. Furthermore: What else does Chester have to offer, in addition to the giant otter enclosure?

    I understand that many on this site are intimately familiar with Chester. However, there are also many that aren't. Discussion of what Chester has to offer for this match, so far, has been based on vague references at best. For someone not familiar with the zoo, this is rather frustrating.

    I would be interested: How do Chester's aquaria and waterfowl ponds compare to Zurich's?
     
    Last edited: 8 Jan 2020
  9. Brum

    Brum Well-Known Member

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    Here are some images of the giant otter exhibit.
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    Photo by @MagpieGoose

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    Photo by @twilighter

    Indoor holding, note there is also underwater viewing as well.
    [​IMG]
    Photo by @gulogulogulo
     
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  10. TeaLovingDave

    TeaLovingDave Moderator Staff Member

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    I replicate my post about this exhibit from earlier in the cup:

    Giant Otter

    And *this* is one of the two biggest gems at Chester, in terms of exhibit size and quality. It is without a shadow of a doubt the best exhibit for Giant Otters I have seen, with a massive and lushly-vegetated outdoor exhibit accompanied by a large interior exhibit (itself larger than a good few exhibits for this species) containing a heated pool, and a second offshow interior enclosure. This exhibit is one of the key reasons why Chester deserves to win this round - I would argue that excellent though Prague is, as far as carnivore species go it currently has nothing which approaches this exhibit in terms of design and quality, nor the next one I will discuss.

    [​IMG]

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  11. antonmuster

    antonmuster Well-Known Member

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    ...that indeed looks marvelous! Thank you @Brum & @TeaLovingDave . It appears to me that this enclosure would arguably match e.g. the freshwater habitats in Masoala in quality (?), and likely excell the Pantanal, problematic as such direct comparisons are.
     
    Last edited: 8 Jan 2020
  12. PaleoMatt

    PaleoMatt Well-Known Member

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    I'm quite pleased the final is between two zoos I have been to. It's quite a hard choice honestly but I'm going to give 2 to Zurich.

    Edit: I said Chester by accident...
     
  13. FunkyGibbon

    FunkyGibbon Moderator Staff Member

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    @antonmuster I think for me Pantanal is still better, if only for the theming and interpretation. It is so far ahead of any other South American exhibit I have seen.
     
  14. CGSwans

    CGSwans Well-Known Member

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    FYI all - the correct score for this match, including votes in the previous poll that weren't superseded by votes in this one, is Zurich 68, Chester 43.