San Francisco’s Aquarium of the Bay Celebrates 3 New Exhibits

Major New Exhibits Feature Jellies, Giant Pacific Octopus and Land Animals

Sunday, April 05 2009 20:36   Tips & Guides
Saying it's a focus on the animals that visitors most want to see, San Francisco's Aquarium of the Bay unveiled three new exhibits on April 4, 2009 featuring jellies, octopus - and what's this? Land animals?

"This marks the first time that Aquarium of the Bay has featured land animals," stated CEO John Frawley. "While our overall focus remains on the marine animals of the San Francisco Bay and nearby waters, we feel the addition of these new terrestrial species will spark visitors' awareness of the growing environmental challenges that are impacting all types of wildlife across the globe."

Jellies more graceful than prima ballerinas; octopuses smarter than most other animals in the sea, and a colorful array of local and exotic land creatures star in engaging new exhibits featuring animal interaction, touchable experiences and other opportunities for interactive exploration.

Here's a quick rundown of the three exhibits visitors will find at the aquarium.

PG&E Bay Lab

The largest new exhibit is PG&E Bay Lab, a 1,200 square foot exhibit featuring land-dwelling animals as nature's ambassadors, promoting energy conservation to protect their habitats from the potential impact of climate change.

The exhibit focuses primarily on native species, along with a few critters from other regions, giving guests the opportunity to guess which are local and which could not thrive in the Bay Area.

Visitors will have the chance to touch many of the animals, including Blue-Tongued Skinks, African Pygmy Hedgehogs, Chinchillas and California King Snakes. Other get-up-close-but-do-not-touch animals include Pink-toed Tarantulas, Pacific Tree Frogs, Honey Bees and Sunburst Diving Beetles.

Individual land animal exhibits and touch pools holding sharks, bat rays and invertebrates will converge with the PG&E Bay Lab station, featuring animal interactions, science experiments and special presentations throughout each day. PG&E Bay Lab is sponsored by Pacific Gas and Electric Company.

Graceful Jellies

An exhibit of Brown Sea Nettles and Moon Jellies greet visitors as they enter the Aquarium's main "Under the Bay" experience. A 725-gallon, floor-to-ceiling cylinder tank displays the moon jellies, and a wall-mounted 740-gallon gallon kriesel tank showcases the brown sea nettles.

Jellies are made up of 95 percent water and have no heart, brains, bones or other organs. What they lack in body parts, they make up in charm - their graceful gliding earns them top marks with Aquarium visitors.

Octopus Intelligence

The grotto-like Giant Pacific Octopus exhibit's main tank features a pop-up window where smaller explorers - and those willing to stoop - can crawl inside for a unique peek.

Giant Pacific Octopuses are underwater magicians that can change color within a fraction of a second; produce an ink smokescreen for avoiding predators, and find escape routes through any space wider than their beak. Also on display are some of the octopus's neighbors including Pacific Spiny Lumpsuckers, Sculpins and Dungeness crabs.

About Aquarium of the Bay

Aquarium of the Bay is a unique nature center dedicated to creating experiences that inspire conservation of the San Francisco Bay and all marine environments. It is the only aquarium featuring exhibits focused specifically on the rich and diverse aquatic life and distinctive ecosystems of the Bay and its nearby waters.

The Aquarium is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and certified as a Green Business by the city of San Francisco. Additional information is available at .


Related Articles