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GabrielaGabriella: New York, Age 9
When I was five years old, I went to the West Indies with my family. My mom grew up there and I was born there. While I was there, I loved to swim in the ocean because the water is really clear. Itís so clear you can look down and see your feet. You can also see fish swim right through your legs. I really enjoyed watching them so close-up. I tried to catch them, but fish are so slippery. They just slip right out of your hands!
 
Common Dolphin
I like to visit aquariums and museums. I especially like to go to aquariums to watch dolphins. Dolphins are my favorite marine mammals, and I hope that I get to study them some day. I would like to study them to find out how they protect themselves, why they live in groups, and what they eat in the ocean.
 
 
left: Gabriela and Adrianna look at a catfish under a microscope; right: looking in the aquarium
 
I also got the chance to visit the American Museum of Natural History in New York. While I was there, I had a special tour of the Ichthyology Department, where scientists study fish. Adriana Aquino, an ichthyologist, showed me a catfish under a microscope. I saw its scales and its mouth up close, and I even touched it. It felt slimy. There were tanks of fish called cichlids. I had a fun time watching them swim around the tank.
 
 
Gabriella
When I visited the Museum, I learned so many new things. I never knew that fish have hair on their gills! I saw fish I have never seen before! I never thought about how many fish there are in the world until I saw the hundreds of fish specimens in the jars there. I even saw jars of sharks, which are kept in alcohol to preserve them and keep them around for a long time. I had a great day.
 
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