On our second day in Launceston we went up the Tamar Valley to Platypus House, Seahorse World and the Beaconsfield Mine.
Sea horse World is a place where they breed sea horses to sell to pet shops and aquariums. James the guide told us lots of interesting things like: the males are the ones that carry and give birth to the babies, they can change colours, they eat very small shrimp which are the same thing as sea monkeys and seahorses have a prehensile tail that can hold onto things but sea dragons and pipe fish which look like seahorses, don’t.
They had lots of seahorses but the ones they breed are called pot-belly seahorses. We saw a lot of very small baby seahorses and got to hold a seahorse. It wiggled around like a worm but it felt scaly like a snake. They also had some other sea creatures such as weedy sea dragons, pipe fish, Port Jackson sharks, a huge Tasmanian Giant Crab and some really big hermit crabs.
At Platypus House we saw 4 platypus swimming and feeding on worms. I learnt that they have millions of tiny receptors on their bill that helps them find food because they have their eyes and ears closed under water. Male platypuses are very dangerous because they have a poisonous spur on their hind leg that would kill animals that are less than 40kg … that would be me. We got to touch the skin of a platypus and it was very soft but its tail was bristly. There was also 3 echidnas. We went into the Echidna Garden were we sat down on the ground and the echidnas came right up to us and ate echidna porridge right next to us. Their tongues were really long and fast moving. One of the echidnas tried to burrow in behind Mum’s bottom, the lady thinks there must have been an ant or something else juicy behind Mum.
Beaconsfield used to be a gold mining town and is famous because 2 men got trapped nearly 1 km down in the mine and survived 2 weeks before being rescued. The mine is now a museum.