SantaMonicaHelp

What’s going on at the Santa Monica Pier Public Aquarium this week

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Hello, everyone. My name is Kamran, and I am a helper here at Santa Monica Filtration. I am also an aquarist intern at the Santa Monica Pier Public Aquarium:

https://healthebay.org/aquarium/

I’ll be giving periodic updates regarding various going-ons at the aquarium, and if you have any requests for things you want me to find out about our creatures, feel free to share. I hope you all enjoy!

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TrentN   

That's on my bucket list to visit all those soCal aquariums and marine research facilities.

Sent from my SM-J700P using Tapatalk

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2 hours ago, TrentN said:

That's on my bucket list to visit all those soCal aquariums and marine research facilities.

Sent from my SM-J700P using Tapatalk
 

Then you might be interested to hear that most of our species are native to Santa Monica Bay. I'll be back with more info next week, but it really gives you an idea of what dwells right beneath the pier.

-Kamran

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The time has come for my first official update. The Santa Monica Pier Aquarium is nestled beneath the very front of the pier, with a nice big aquarium banner for good measure. Every creature on display is native to Santa Monica Bay, with a few exceptions (ex: El Nino caused some Pacific seahorses to appear in our waters, which were then collected and given their own exhibit). Obviously, the goal is to give visitors a sense of what's lurking right beneath the bay, and to drive the point home, most of our main exhibits are modeled after a specific ecosystem (including the underside of the pier itself).

Attached to this post are a few photos showing the aquarium’s position in relation to the pier, the entrance, and one of our exhibits. All of these photos are mine, except for the aerial shot. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask!

-Kamran

rockyReef.jpg

entrance.jpg

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Hello again, everyone. One of our swell sharks recently emerged from its embryo, so for this week’s update, I thought I’d give a rundown of how the aquarium handles its shark pups.

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Currently, we have two kinds of sharks on display: swell sharks (first photo) and horn sharks (second photo). Although both our sharks have been known to multiply, the swell sharks do it far more prolifically and will hence be the main focus of this post.

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These are what swell shark embryos look like. These three specifically are on public display, but we have many more in the back room.

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When a pup emerges from its embryo, it’s immediately moved to the quarantine tank seen in this photo. As you can see, we have no shortage of them (and in comparison, there are only three horn shark embryos that haven’t even hatched yet).

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Several things can happen to the pups depending on the circumstances. Sometimes, they’re moved to the public exhibit (pictured above), which is what happened with our newest pup. Other times they’re donated to other aquariums, and still other times they’re kept until they’re large enough for the primary shark tank. It really depends on how much room we have and where.

On a side note, one of our adult swell sharks sprayed me with a mouthful of water once. It was unpleasant.

-Kamran

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For this week’s update, I’ve decided to focus on our decorator crab since it’s been going through some “revisions” lately.
 
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In case the name wasn’t a giveaway, decorator crabs like to cover themselves with materials like plants and algae for camouflage. Our decorator crab is no exception, and over the past month, it’s been making some adjustments to its appearance.
 
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This is how it looked two weeks ago. It had molted recently, so its shell was fresh and uncovered.
 
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The following week, it donned some kelp. Upon seeing this, one of my coworkers added some reddish algae to the tank, and a week later…
 
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…it fashioned itself some leg wear.
 
Although this is our “featured” decorator crab, we do have others, including some juveniles and another adult in the back room. As you can see below, it’s a bit more passionate about its appearance.
 
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On a side note, here’s one of the decorator crab’s older molts that we preserved. It was much smaller back then…
 
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I hope you enjoyed this update. Next week, I’ll discuss one of our newer exhibits.
 
-Kamran

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