MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Public Library hosted “Oceans Rock” on March 29, an informative program for kids that teaches about the ocean.
Presenter Peter Brown taught the audience about the many ways the ocean helps humans.
“What’s common to toothpaste, jam, shampoo, and sushi?” Brown asked. “Seaweed!! Carrageenan is a thickener made from seaweed!”
Brown told the audience about the horseshoe crab, which has blue blood, is related to spiders and scorpions, and can have 30% of its blood removed without dying. He further explained how the crabs are used in pharmaceutical testing, to make sure that products are sterile.
“What invertebrate would make a horrible dinner guest?” Brown asked the audience.
That dinner guest would eat with its feet, doesn’t use utensils, and sends its stomach out its mouth in order to partially digest its meal and then retracts its stomach, he said.
“You might call it a starfish, but it’s not a fish, so a lot of people call it a sea star,” Brown explained, bringing an example of the sea creature from a table filled with sea items to show the audience.
Sea sponges were next, and Brown brought out a huge example. He explained that they, like sea stars, can regenerate, and they “drink” about 64 glasses of water per day.
“Sponges produce chemicals that are being tested to help cure cancer and other diseases,” Brown said.
Brown also encouraged the audience to help keep our oceans clean, by not dumping garbage when they’re at the beach, and recycling. He encouraged the kids to drink water out of a reusable water container.
“What sea animal navigates by smell, tastes with its feet, listens with its legs, has teeth in its stomach, and tastes great dipped in melted butter?” Brown asked the audience.
Lobsters of course, and Brown displayed a huge specimen.
No ocean presentation would be complete without some SpongeBob TV show references, and Brown explained that Plankton, one of the smallest characters on the show but also a real sea plant, produces most of the air humans breathe.
Ticking all the boxes, Brown then discussed one of the most popular sea animals, sharks. He showed gigantic jaws and teeth from different species, and gave some facts about each.
“The extinct megalodon shark tooth had 7-inch-long teeth,” he told the audience. “It was three times longer than the largest great white shark.”
The kids were then treated to a “sea shell dig” where they could dig in bins of sea items and take home shark teeth and shells.
The Montville Township Public Library has programs for kids, teens and adults every day, including storytimes, lectures, movies, concerts and crafts. For more information, click: Library