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the Monterey Aquarium's twitch channel livestreams shark tank, penguins, otters, and animal crossing

i bring you the official monterey bay aquarium twitch: https://twitch.tv/montereyaq

i turned it on when it was shark cam with peaceful music and woke up to animal crossing. i was very confused and assumed twitch had autoplayed some other channel… but nope! it was a segment on freshwater animals!

just 5 hours of penguins nbd Twitch

if multiple scientists using anch to discuss animals for popular science is not the cutest thing you have ever seen i will eat my coelacanth Twitch

Wait, what was the animal crossing portion? It was educational?

Yep! It’s a recurring series so educators and scientists and museum people can still share their knowledge with the people, even though museums remain closed. Seems like they’ve done 14 episodes so far on different aspects of natural history. The most recent one was on freshwater fish. It appears they give tours of different sections of the museum in animal crossing and discuss the animals and fossils and bugs!

Here’s an article I really enjoyed: Animal Crossing: New Horizons’ museum toured on Twitch by real aquarium staff - Polygon

They talk about inviting experts from other institutions:

Aquarium staff has been streaming the game on social media for a few days now, and on Monday, it’ll offer a special showing: It’s hosting fossil expert Emily Graslie from Chicago’s Field Museum to help out on a special tour of Animal Crossing’s in-game museum.

And they are educational chats:

Fossil expert Graslie said she was particularly excited to see Dimetrodon, a proto-mammal more closely related to humans than dinosaurs, in Animal Crossing: New Horizons . “The fact that you can find a Dimetrodon in the game has been awesome, and that the developers use this as an opportunity to also educate players about Dimetrodon’s evolutionary history is even better,” Graslie told Polygon over email. “Now my social media feed is filled with players sharing their screengrabs of Dimetrodon. It’s a nice reminder that they learned something (and had fun doing it.)”

This is great:

But the Monterey Aquarium staff is most eager to teach players about the barreleye fish, a species discovered by a researcher at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute in the Monterey Submarine Canyon. The weird, deep-sea fish has a translucent head and “eyes pointed straight up through this clear dome to spot food hovering above,” Simpson and Webster said. It’s one of those creatures that seems too absurd to be real, and yet, here it is — in both real-life and Animal Crossing: New Horizons .

Graslie said that Animal Crossing’s museum is special because it’s “a microcosm of so many things we love about our world, and that extends to the celebration of the game’s biodiversity.”

“There’s an inherent curiosity we all have at some point in our lives about the critters we share our planet with, and Animal Crossing encourages that sense of exploration and discovery with little barrier to entry once you’re in the game,” Graslie said. “Everyone gets to be the discoverer (and donor!) of new organisms found on their island. They get to participate in laying the foundation for documenting and cataloguing diversity. I hope there’s even a tiny bit of that sense of stewardship and curiosity that people can take with them outside of the game, too — and I also hope it helps players appreciate the hundreds- to thousands of museum employees and scientists who are doing this work every day for our world.”

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Wow, that’s really amazing!

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