More pictures of sardines! I really had no idea that the sardine industry was so big here until we came to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Apparently after World War II, the sardine population in Monterey Bay collapsed from overfishing. They then had to convert the old canning factories and fisherman’s wharf to a tourist area like it is today.
After the Jellies Experience we headed downstairs and waited for the Kelp Forest feeding demonstration. A volunteer diver fed the fish and explained the ecosystem found in and around kelp forests. She even answered questions from the audience. She sounded like Darth Vadar… it was fun.
The Sea Otter exhibit was packed. Good thing we still managed to find a good spot. Everyone had their cameras out, taking photos and videos of the orphaned baby sea otter and the adult female sea otter named Toola. The guide explained that they often paired orphaned pups with Toola, and she adopted them and showed them the ropes. Toola however passed away March of this year and she had raised 13 pups since she had been with the aquarium. I’m really glad that we were able to get photos of her :)
Even the pigeons were enjoying the outdoor exhibit. People must have thought I was crazy taking photos and watching the pigeons while there were all these other exciting things to look at :D
I asked Jon to touch something while I took these photos… HAHAHAH. He did get a little too excited and wanted to flip them over to look at their undersides. That was a big no no.. please don’t do that if you ever decide to go.
Next we headed off to the Sandy Shore & Aviary exhibit. There were big windows along the wall that let in the fresh ocean breeze and an opening in the water to let in the tides. It was definitely a very realistic shore experience :)
Tube anemone – I could have watched these for hours. They were swaying slowly from the artificial tides in the tank.
I forgot what these were but they were small and kind of hard to see because of their great camouflage. I thought they were really cute.
Baby skates in an egg case also known as a Mermaid’s Purse. A window had been cut out and a clear cover was glued back on so that we could see what happens on the inside.
Next we headed back to the Kelp Forest to meet their albatross. I had no idea that they were so big! I have to admit that I was very excited cause I kept thinking about Scuttle from The Little Mermaid – my all time favorite Disney movie.
I don’t remember what kind of bird this was, but we made eye contact like this for a good couple of minutes.
Overall the Monterey Bay Aquarium was fantastic and I give it “double peace signs” (I’m Asian…this is what we do). All of the exhibits were very interesting and we really learned so much. I like that they update the exhibits often so we’ll definitely have to go back soon to see the new stuff. My only regret during the trip was that I didn’t get any good photos of the seahorses. I guess that’s another reason for us to visit Monterey Bay again :D