WARREN, NJ - Did you know that horseshoe crabs have been around for 450 million years, and they consist of blue blood that contains remarkable antibacterial properties?

Life science classrooms at Warren Middle School were transformed into aquatic learning environments on Friday, April 13, thanks to some very cool sea creatures from the Wetlands Institute. Aquarist Shelby Schmeltzle, of the Wetlands Institute, presented the students with a live animal presentation.

Seventh grade students had the opportunity to learn about the aquatic adaptations and reproductive systems of a horseshoe crab, sea urchin, oyster toadfish, knobbed whelk, and mussels. Schmeltzle was able to tailor her lesson to incorporate material the students are currently studying in their Life Science classes.

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Students were all smiles as they moved about the room, visiting each station, getting an up close and personal view of each creature. The oyster toadfish was especially popular, as the students were permitted to use two fingers to gently touch the soft and squishy fish.

Schmeltzle was very impressed by the students’ prior knowledge of the creatures that she brought to visit. During a discussion with the classes of Dan Ticchio and Kelly Brown, seventh grade science teachers, students expressed their extensive knowledge of horseshoe crabs. The Wetlands Institute is dedicated to educating students to encourage a better understanding of the wetlands and coastal ecosystems. Be sure to keep an eye out for some of these creatures during your next trip to the Jersey Shore this summer.




Photo 1:  grade 7 student, Aaron Opell, pointing out the cool texture of the knobbed whelk to his classmates.  


Photo 2: grade 7 students, all smiles while visiting the different sea creatures the Wetlands Institute brought to their classroom. ( L to R): Vanessa Tao, Sara Allian, Claudia Palka, Aaron Opell, Lorenzo Percario, Samuel Irekvist and Daniel Shen.  


Photo 3: grade 7 students, Thomas Gifford and Gabriel Jojisvilichecking out the horseshoe crab!


Photo 4: grade 7 students (L to R) Emma Allocco, Kayla Cullinane, Charlotte Holliday and Julie Ayers pose with their favorite sea creature, the oyster toadfish!