Marine Biologist Lucy Hunt Helps Pupils Explore Ireland’s Seas & Oceans

Marine Biologist Lucy Hunt delivered a fascinating workshop with 5th & 6th class today in Herbertstown NS. Lucy has worked on numerous different projects studying marine life all over the world. Pupils had an opportunity to see and examine plankton, crabs, starfish and other creatures.


Lucy also gave an excellent talk on marine life around Ireland which included some fantastic first hand accounts of encounters with orcas, blue whales, humpback whales and dolphins.


Caoimhe, 6th Class:

Today a woman called Lucy Hunt came to our school. She is a Marine Biologist 

She brought in crabs, anemone,  seaweed and plankton.

Here are some facts she told us:

  • Crabs hiss or scream because they have air in them.
  • There are more mammals in the sea then on the land.
  • Two Otters sleep “holding” paws so they don’t float away.
  • There are 25 species of whales and dolphins in Irish waters.
  • Gannets are the largest sea birds in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • A cetacean is a Greek word that means whales and dolphins.
  • A Bowhead whale ended up in Irish waters last summer when it normally lives in the Arctic.
  • In 2007 a Bowhead was caught with a Harpoon in its head dating back to the 1890’s.
  • Common Dolphins form a Super Pod of 1,000 animals.
  • Bottlenose Dolphins may live up to 50 years and many grow up to 4m.
  • Orcas may grow up to 9.5 metres and may live up to 90 years.
  • Baleen is made of the same material as your hair and nails.
  • Fin whales are large whales and the blow from its blowhole may reach up to 10m.
  • Blue whales are very rare and there are only 500 left in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • In the Mediterranean Sea a humpback whale launched out of the water and landed on a small yacht.
  • In 2016 13 Sperm whales were found dead with stomachs full of plastic.
  • Currently, 70 whales are using Irish waters.


To finish, Lucy brought the class outside and had them draw out different marine mammals to get an idea of their size.


The workshop was secured as a prize for a drawing of Lough Gur by Nathan back in the autumn. The drawing secured third place in a competition run by Limerick City and County Council.