Go on a Manta Adventure Trail at S.E.A. Aquarium

It’s Manta Month at S.E.A. Aquarium this September. There are many Manta-themed activites at the Aquarium. One of such activities is the Manta Adventure Trail for kids.

Like the Shark Adventure Trail, this is a questing adventure for children and they can learn while learning information about the featured marine animals.

While I’m obviously not a kid anymore, I have the honourable duty of reviewing the quest for you! Let’s go on an adventure.

Go on the Manta Adventure Trail

To begin the quest, I collected the Manta Adventure Trail map at the entrance to the Maritime Experiential Museum next to the ticket inspection.

Manta Adventure Trail map

If you’ve been on the Shark Adventure Trail for SEAA Wonders: Sharks in August, you’ll see that the Manta Adventure Trail has a lot more activities.

I’ve numbered the different activities so you won’t get lost when I talk about the different stops.

Manta Adventure Trail S.E.A. Aquarium

Stop 1

Identify the patterns: Spot the Honeycomb Stingray and the Leopard Whipray.

Difficulty level: 5 out of 5

Manta Adventure Trail

First stop is at the Strait of Karimata and Java Sea where the sunken ship lies. This activity seems easy as the illustrated patterns for Honeycomb Stingray and Leopard Whipray are different. But in real life, it’s kind of hard trying to differentiate them.

It took me a long while to find the different Rays at this spot. I did manage to get a shot of a Leopard Whipray. The Honeycomb Stingray did not come past the window for a photograph but I could still see the difference between the two.

Leopard Whipray at the Shipwreck Habitat
Leopard Whipray at the Shipwreck Habitat.

Stop 2
Anatomy: Count the number of barbs and gills on the Red Stingray

Difficulty level: 4 out of 5

At this stop, the rays were showing off their belly by flattening themselves against the glass. I couldn’t really see their backs unless they swim off to stick their belly on another pane of glass.

Red Stingray showing off its gills.
Red Stingray showing off its gills.

I guess the rays got their memos to make it easier for us to count their gills.

Stop 3

Match the ray

Difficulty level: 1 out of 5

Here, we have to match the ray to the name it’s associated with. When the SEAA Star said the name of the ray, I was able to give the correct answer.

Match the Ray at Manta Adventure Trail.
Match the Ray at Manta Adventure Trail.

The actual board doesn’t have the name of the rays so I’m letting you guys cheat a bit by giving you their names.

 

Here, you can see that rays are often named as regular objects. The Giant Shovelnose Ray has a head like a shovel while the Honeycomb Stingray has honeycomb-like patterns.

Stop 4
Manta Ray anatomy

Difficulty level: 2 out of 5

Match the Ray Manta Month
Manta Ray anatomy

I didn’t know that the answers to this section was already in my hands–on my Manta Adventure Trail Map. Now wonder the SEAA Star looked at me strangely when I said it was difficult.

Of course, the manta on the boardis not the same as the one shown on the map. But you get the gist.

Anatomy of a Manta Ray
Anatomy of a Manta Ray

Stop 5
Manta Ray & I photo opportunity: Take a picture with the Manta cutout display

Difficulty level: 1 out of 5

 

Join Manta Instagram contest
Join Manta Instagram contest

This was the easiest stop out of the nine. I guess it’ll be more difficult if you’re trying to take a selfie with it.

The Aquarium has a contest going on in Manta Month. Snap a picture of one of the rays or capture them making somersaults on video and post them up on Instagram to win prizes. Here’s more details of the Manta Instagram contest.

Stop 6
Learn about the cephalic lobes of the manta and get a Manta crown

Difficulty level: 1 out of 5

Learn about the cephalic lobes at S.E.A. Aquarium.
Learn about the cephalic lobes at S.E.A. Aquarium.

 

At this stop, I learned how the Manta uses its cephalic lobes (the two protruding paddles at the front part of the Manta) to guide food into its mouth.

After the lesson, I received a Happy Manta crown. Yay!

Stop 7
Spot & Blotch: Identify the Spotted Eagle Ray and the Black Blotched Fantail Ray

Difficulty level: 4 out of 5

S.E.A. Aquarium Manta Adventure Trail

After many minutes of admiring the scenery at Open Ocean Habitat, I managed to find the Spotted Eagle Ray and the Black Blotched Fantail Ray.

 

The Spotted Eagle Ray seems to be smiling.
The Spotted Eagle Ray appears to be smiling.
Black Blotched Fantail Ray lays low.
Black Blotched Fantail Ray lays low.

Stop 8
The Blues: Spot the spiracle on the Blue-Spotted Fantail Ray

Difficulty level: 3 out of 5

Blue-Spotted Fantail Ray
Blue-Spotted Fantail Ray

It’s much easier to spot the Blue-Spotted Fantail Ray since that was the only Ray around. The Rays preferred to hang around at the bottom of the pool so it’s pretty easy to see its spiracles.

Stop 9
Manta Who? Learn how to ID a Manta.

Difficulty level: 1 out of 5

Manta tagging

The wall features posters on how to ID tag a Manta. For now, it’s just about reading the information.

Next to this, the screen is showing Manta Rays that have been tagged to allow the researchers to track them around Bali.

Finishing line (Yay!)

Collect your Manta freebies at the finishing line.

Manta Adventure Trail finishing line
Manta Adventure Trail finishing line

After collecting all of the stamps, I went to the finishing line to collect my prizes from the friendly SEAA Star. There’s also a lucky draw box to win a trip to the USA.

The prizes for Manta Adventure Trail is a Manta bookmark that kids can also colour and a temporary tattoo.

I tried using the tattoo by applying water to the tattoo. It didn’t stick to my skin. Maybe I’m just bad at tattoo sticking. (Tattoo difficulty level: 5 out of 5!)

 

Manta Adventure Trail gifts
Manta Adventure Trail gifts

If you’re looking for more Manta souvenirs, there are Manta plushies for $11.60 at the gift shop at the exit of the Aquarium.

 

Manta soft toy at S.E.A. Aquarium
Manta soft toy at S.E.A. Aquarium

Your turn to go on the Manta Adventure Trail

Well, that was my playthrough of the Manta Adventure Trail. Now it’s your turn to have fun with the kids.

Date: 1 to 30 September 2014
Time:  10am to 7pm

Watch the rays in action here:

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