’Tis the season for winter craft fun! Enjoy these downloadable and printable snowflake templates that celebrate a few of our Woods Hole Science Aquarium’s residents. Decorate your walls, windows, ceiling, or holiday tree with these four designs:
- Loggerhead sea turtle
- Sea stars
- Horseshoe crab
All you have to do is print the template, grab your scissors, and get folding and cutting. Want to create your own? No worries, we’ve provided a blank template for you to create your own marine life snowflake!
If you’re on Facebook or Twitter, be sure to post a photo of your snowflake, tagging us and using the hashtag #WHSASnowflakes. You can find us @NOAAFisheriesNEMA on Facebook or @NOAAFish_NEFSC on Twitter. Can’t wait to see your snowflakes!
- Print on 8.5 x 11 inch paper.
- Cut the square template from the rest of the printed page.
- Fold your square in half along the black lines to form a triangle. Fold each triangle in half another two times, always ending with the gray design area on top, facing up, and visible.
- Cut away gray areas from the triangle, leaving white areas uncut.
- Gently unfold cut out to reveal your aquarium animal snowflake.
- Hang in a window or on the wall, from the ceiling, or on your holiday tree.
Warning: Snowflake cutting requires the use of scissors. Please carefully supervise children cutting out these templates.
Joy-ful Loggerhead Sea Turtle
Joy was a young loggerhead sea turtle who called our Science Aquarium home for nearly two years as she recovered from a mass cold-stunning event in 2018. The inner coast of Cape Cod is a well-known world hot spot for sea turtle cold-stunning. More than 100 turtles can come ashore in a single day if there is an influx of unusually cold water, usually caused by a storm. Joy had quite the personality! She was stubborn, feisty, and did things in her own time and in her own way. By late August 2020 she was ready to go home, so she was tagged and released back into the wild off Cape Cod. Learn more about Joy.
Cutest Couple: Seahorses
In February we held our first ever Cutest Couple contest at our Science Aquarium. Votes were tallied and our pair of seahorses raced away with the prize. It was a thrilling neck-and-neck competition early on, with our sea star, chain dogfish, and wolffish pairs keeping pace. However, during the last few days of the contest, the seahorses surged ahead to take the lead, ending with 42 percent of the votes! Learn more about our #WHSACutestCouple
Over the Moon with Sea Stars
Sea stars are a big hit in our Science Aquarium’s touch tank! Sea stars are echinoderm invertebrates and are closely related to sea urchins and sand dollars. Echinoderms are a major group of marine animals and their name comes from the Greek word for "spiny skin." If you’ve ever turned a sea star over, you probably were shocked to see hundreds of little tube-like structures wiggling away. These are the “feet” that help them to move, hang vertically or upside down, and eat! Their feet have little suction cups at the ends that help them do all of these amazing feats (see what we did there?). Their amazingness doesn’t end there. These creatures have the power of regeneration—they can grow back limbs and create a whole new sea star even if split in half! Learn more about sea stars and download our sea star smartphone wallpaper for the holidays!
Behold! A Living Fossil: Horseshoe Crab
Horseshoe crabs are prehistoric—like, their ancestors were scuttling about around 445 million years ago. That’s about 200 million years before dinosaurs roamed our Earth! These prehistoric creatures are considered “living fossils,” meaning if you compare a fossilized horseshoe crab with today’s horseshoe crab, they’ll look pretty much identical. Other amazing facts:
- They’re more closely related to spiders and scorpions than they are to crabs
- Females may lay 100,000 or more eggs over several nights
- Their blood is blue 😲
- Their blood contains a very important compound called lysate which is used in cancer research
- They’re used as bait in commercial American eel and conch fisheries along the East Coast
Because horseshoe crabs are important, their harvest is closely managed by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. A variety of non-governmental partners, state agencies, and federal agencies, including NOAA Fisheries, work to protect them and their habitat. Learn more about this fascinating animal.
Create Your Own Snowflake
Do you have a favorite marine animal or plant you’d like to turn into a snowflake? Download our blank template to make your own snowflake masterpiece!
For more information, please contact Heather Soulen.