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Vol. 1
Issue. 8

This month's winner | Backstage Heroes | New kits | FAQ: How to tell them apart?

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This month's winner
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Please keep in mind that these prizes are totally free, but I need some help with the shipping costs which is why I request a SASE.

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Congratulations to the happy winners!!

The 1970 Vintage Growth food goes to

The Sea-Monkey basic set goes to
Not Claimed Yet

Backstage Heroes
If the names Yolanda Signorelli, Joe Orlando and Anthony D'Agostino ring a bell (other than realizing that they seem to have a good taste for pasta and tomato sauce) it's because in some ways, they are as responsible as Mr. Braunhut for the Sea-Monkey success story!.

I don't have any doubts that the Transcience's senior Sea-Monkey 'scientist' is Dr. D'Agostino. Not only does his signature appear in some modern manuals, but I also have a 70's document that mentions Dr. D'Agostino as the person responsible for some of the Sea-Monkey research and product developments, as in the case of the development of a live algae food to be sold by Transcience at that time.

I never saw this product (vaporware?), but it is very probable that this research was the main reason for the change of ingredients in their food formula.

The late Joe Orlando is a well known cartoonist (you can see some of his work in old MAD magazines). To be faithfull to this story, I never imagined that Joe Orlando did the Sea-Monkey 70's packets artwork, until I read it on the Sea-Monkey Central site. If you look at Joe Orlando's profile on the internet, there's no Sea-Monkey mentioned in any of his biography documents. (Maybe because his fans didn't know it or Joe didn't mention this fact for some unknown disclosure agreement with Transcience at that time? who knows.)

I have no doubt that thanks to the pencil of Joe Orlando, Sea-Monkeys had this phenomenal 'explotion' in the 1970's. Joe Orlando's artwork still fascinates collectors (like me!) looking for the best Sea-Monkey 70's artwork in auctions on the internet. Many collectors agree that there's no Sea-Monkey artwork as cool and groovy as those found in the 70's.

According to some correspondence I had with Aqua-Boy some time ago, he told me that a suggestion was sent to Transcience for the creation of some retro kits with a 1970's touch (using 70's artwork) *but* seems that this idea will not see daylight... bummer.

And, finally, the person I considered one of the most important heroes (or heroine?) behind Sea-Monkey mail-order success is Mrs. Yolanda Signorelli. The first time I received a signed (well it was really a 'printed' signature) from her was in a 'back-ordered' announcement post card (and because I ordered parts & supplies on a regular basis, I received 2 or 3 of these post cards, and I still have one of them)

It is very difficult for Yolanda to remember my letters to her, included with my orders (maybe not, I was very young and I had this particular nerdy type of conversation and lack of good english language knowledge... you can imagine! I haven't change that much! :) but she was gentle enough to answer some of my letters in writing, over a photocopy of my own letter. You can imagine how I treasure these letters.

At that time, her signature reflected her civil status by using "Miss Yolanda Signorelli". Aqua-Boy told me that in fact, she's now Mrs. Yolanda von Braunhut. (Way to go, Harold! :)

Yolanda's photo portrait appeared in a 1968 Sea-Monkey kit, wearing the original Sea-Bubble (a GENUINE crystal ball with a REAL chain!). Susie Metzler (read last month's newsletter) brought to my attention the fact that maybe the look of Sea-Monkey females presented in the cartoons are inspired by Yolanda, and I have to agree with that. By the way, who knows if the Sea-Monkey scientist resembles somehow the person of Tony D'Agostino too! you know what's in the mind of those artists!!! :)

Yolanda Signorelli
Miss Yolanda Signorelli She's wearing a GENUINE crystal bubble. She was a TV starlet as stated in the 1968 Sea-Gem kit.   Remember this is a 60's photo of Yolanda.
Joe Orlando
Joe Orlando
A very old photo but you get the idea of the man behind the pencil.
Plasma Doctor
Anthony D' Agostino
Ok, ok, this is not the photo of Mr. D'Agostino, but a good representation of a Sea-Monkey® scientist by the mind of Joe Orlando.
New kits
The wait for the release of the newer Sea-Monkey® kits seems eternal.
I noticed however that Amazon included in their inventory a kit that was a little hard to get online, but given the fact that they joined efforts with Toy'R'Us (one of the local stores where I saw that particular kit) now they have the 'Ocean of Fun' kit online.

Ocean of Fun is one of the kits that includes (apart from the basic packets) the neon tank, a packet of Sea-Diamonds and the much needed manual.

*NEW* Space Shuttle was added to Amazon on September 23, take a look at it!!!

There's also some new auctions at eBay for the Space Shuttle and other Sea-Monkey® kits (some are vintage stuff!).  Remember to look for "sea monkeys" (with quotes) or "sea monkey" (without the final 's') in the search to jump directly to Sea-Monkey® auctions! (you may want to select the "search titles and description" checkbox!)

See you there!

ss.jpg (8323 bytes)
NEW Sea-Monkey® Space Shuttle

Ocean of Fun at Amazon

Q: How to tell them apart?
Maybe you think this question is a little 'old', but I have to answer this many times, and I expect from now on, to redirect all questions regarding 'How to tell boys from girls' to this month's newsletter issue.

My conclusion is that there's a lot of kits sold that don't include the official handbook. Kits like The Magic Castle, the 'Original' Sea-Monkey kit, the Bonus Pack and the Aquarium Watches for example. So, this is a 'valid' question for these Sea-Monkey owners.

To make this answer an interesting one to the 'experts' group, I prepared a short video, and I'll also give some interesting info included in different editions of the manual starting from the 1967 version. In the short video, now included in the Sea-Monkey Cam section, you'll see a male, then a female and finally both of them swimming together. Casually the day I took the video footage, the male was experimenting a new diet and you can see the effect of this on their digestive system by looking at his "long tail".

When born, babies Sea-Monkey jaws are the most noticeable thing you can spot because they look like little arms that help them to swim, that eventually will not be necessary for these purposes as their fins start to appear. When their 11 pairs of fins are formed, male antennaes start to transform into large, strong graspers and the female antennaes transform into tiny sensorial appendages. She also develops a noticeable ovisac where the male clutches her when they mate. She usually grows larger than males (up to 3/4" and males up to 1/2" in favorable conditions) In normal circumstances (found in nature, on 'wild' Artemia species) a large 3/4" female can lay 200 eggs (live or unhatch) every five days during a month.

Male Females Mating
Male Sea-Monkey® Females Sea-Monkey® Mating

It is also worth mentioning that their 11 pairs of fins have 3 important functions; it helps them to swim, to feed and to breath. One thing you can find in ALL Sea-Monkey handbook versions is the mention of "whiskers that grows below their chin" when referring to the male graspers, and "pill-like egg sacs" when referring to female ovisacs.

The "Dr. Kronkeit" comedy (?) routine mentioned in current manuals, started to appear since the mid 70's version of the handbook. New "yellow" handbooks discarded the fact that Sea-Monkey females have a shorter life-span than males. If I was the editor, I would discard the "funny" Kronkeit routine mentioned and leave the more realistic female's shorter life-span note.

Did the hybrid females species live as long as their male counterpart? I can't tell for sure, but this kind of ommision is not difficult to understand as they changed some procedures several times and as time passes and new formulas are developed, they learned new discoveries and created new procedures, and I guess they don't want to confuse their readers by supplying "old data" in their newer handbooks.

BUT, no matter how hard they try not to confuse breeders, the feeding and Plasma procedures for example, still confuse some people anyway, because several instructions for their uses are found in the many kits out there, the only suggestion I give to my visitors with such doubts, is to "stick" to whatever their kits says to do regarding the feeding or Plasma procedures.

1960's late 60's
The look of Sea-Monkeys in the 1960's.. not monkeys at all... well, sea-cows are not cows, and sea-horses are not horses either anyway. This is the late 60's look for male and females. Sea-Monkey cartoons started to look more 'humanized' here.
1970's 1990's
This is the 70's look for the male and females, not very different from late 60's look, only cuter, right? Oh well, the 'new' Sea-Monkey representation. Seems like they want the old 60's look back in the manual's graphics. Who drew this?  I would have excused this if it had appeared in the 60's.

I hope this explanation helps my visitors to learn how to tell boys from girls. It is very exciting to know that Sea-Monkey females and males have very remarkable differences that can make it easier to tell them appart, compared to other criatures related to this species, right? Ops, Ops, Ops, that's Tri-ops! :)


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