Tag Archives: Monterey Bay Aquarium

Goal: Visit Great Aquariums

Okay, so I totally have mixed feelings about aquariums and zoos. On one hand, they pull animals out of their natural surroundings and cage them in small, sometimes miserable quarters. On the other hand, they serve to educate and hopefully inspire people to take an active role in protecting animals from becoming endangered. Further, they provide a place to preserve species who have become extinct in the wild and many, like the Monterey Bay Aquarium, are leading the way with their conservation programs.

For better or worse, there are few places that make me as happy. Here are 3 aquariums located in the U.S. that I’ve read about which seem pretty amazing and I’d like to see. Any other recommendations?

1. Georgia Aquarium Atlanta, Georgia

The Georgia Aquarium claims to be the world’s largest aquarium with over 100,000 animals housed in 8.1 million gallons of fresh and saltwater. It is the only aquarium outside of Asia to exhibit whales sharks (of which it has two males). Other notable specimens include great hammerhead sharks, beluga whales and manta rays. The aquarium also has a 100ft underwater tunnel as well as the world’s second largest viewing window.

2. Monterey Bay Aquarium Monterey, California

The Monterey Bay Aquarium contains a 33 foot high, 350,000 gallon tank which holds the world’s first man-grown kelp garden as well as housing California coastal marine life such as leopard sharks and wolf-eels. The aquarium also boasts a 1.2 million gallon tank which is large enough to allow tuna to reach speeds of 18 miles per hour. Sometimes when I’m feeling particularly nerdy, I like to check out the otters on their webcam.

3. Oregon Coast Aquarium Newport, Oregon

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is a hop, skip and a jump from my brother and his cute little family, so now I have two excuses to make the trip! The main attraction here is the acrylic tunnel which allows you to be surrounded by sharks, bat rays and rockfish without ever getting wet.


Bloodybelly Comb Jelly

You thought I just strung a bunch of unrelated words together to get your attention, didn’t you? The Bloodybelly Comb Jelly is a sea creature from the deep. What a strange and fabulous little creature.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN WEEKEND!!

The Secret Lives of Seahorses

Dwarf_seahorseaI’ve been dying to go to the Secret Lives of Seahorses exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

Seahorses are such strange and romantic little things. They perform courtship dances (lasting up to 8 hours), hold tails, swim snout to snout and bond monogamously for a season.

Then to top that, the males carry and birth the babies! What gentlemen. The female deposits her eggs into his pouch, using a tube called an oviduct, where he fertilizes and incubates the fry until they are ready to swim out fully developed. The pouch provides nutrients, oxygen and regulates salinity.  The male even produces prolactin (a hormone found in pregnant women) and has contractions during the birthing process.

Pigmy SeahorseYou can find an archived webcast here of Monterey Bay Aquarium experts discussing seahorses, pipefish and sea dragons. It’s about an hour long but has some really great photos and videos.

If you’d like to aid in the conservation of one of America’s only species, you can send a note to Governor Schwarzenegger of California asking him to support legislation which will help protect marine areas. Monterey Bay Aquarium makes it easy by providing a form which can be personalized and delivered from the site.

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