Saturday, December 6, 2008


Monterey Bay Aquarium
We drove for over an hour to a place called Monterey. Here is an Aquarium which has been voted as one of the best in the world. I can vouch for its high quality of maintenance, superb arrangements for viewing and the wealth of information imparted to us about sea-life. We could witness the feeding at specific hours of Otters, Penguins and Kelp Forest.
We were enabled to touch starfish and several varieties of sea-life. We were blown off our feet by the Jelly Fish which resembles parachutes.We saw for the first time a Sting Ray-- one of which killed the expert Steve Erwin last year.There are over 200 award winning galleries and exhibits from shallow tide pools to the vast open ocean.To give you a clear idea of the wonders of aquatic life I have used some material I obtained from M BA.Monterey is also famous for her illustrious son John Steinbeck---who was winner of both the Pulitzer and Nobel Prizes for literature.


Kelp Forest Aquarium
The Monterey Bay Aquarium, is one of the largest aquariums in the world. It has 35,000 plants and animals representing 623 species.
The centerpiece of the MBA is the Ocean's Edge wing-- a 33-foot high tank for viewing coastal marine life. In this tank, the aquarium was the first in the world to grow live California Giant Kelp using a wave machine at the top of the tank (water movement is a necessary precondition for keeping Giant Kelp, which absorbs nutrients from surrounding water and requires turbidity), allowing sunlight in through the open tank top, and pumping in raw seawater. The second exhibit of note is a one million gallon tank in the Outer Bay Wing which features one of the world's largest single-paned windows (crafted by a Japanese company, the window is actually four panes seamlessly glued together through a proprietary process).
Sealife on exhibit includes stingrays, jellyfish, sea-otters, and numerous other native marine species, which can be viewed above and below the waterline. For displaying jellyfish, the MBA uses an aquarium called a Special tank which creates a circular flow to support and suspend the jellies.
The aquarium was opened in 1984.. The aquarium's mission is "to inspire conservation of the oceans." The aquarium's initial financial backing was provided by David Packard, co-founder of Hewlett-Packard. Packard, an avid blacksmith, personally designed and created several exhibit elements for the aquarium at his forge in Big Sur, including the wave machines in the Kelp Forest and aviary. His daughter, the marine biologist Julie Packard, is currently Executive Director of the aquarium.
In January 1996, the aquarium opened the new Outer Bay wing to provide exhibits covering the open-water ecology of Monterey's Outer Bay. Besides the above-mentioned million-gallon tank, another of the new exhibits included a school of 3000 anchovies, swimming against the endless current of a special tank.
In March 2008, the aquarium opened a penguin exhibit to complement the already popular sea otter exhibit. The aquarium had hosted 19 penguins from the Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans along with two sea otters after that aquarium was badly damaged byHurricane Katrina.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium wouldn't be the same without its sea otters. MBA’s most popular item is sea otters which share the spotlight with African spotted-necked otters and Asian small-clawed otters—the stars of their special exhibit Wild About Otters. See Pic on next page.

Sea Otter

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