As mentioned in my Monterey Bay Aquarium – Part 3: The Open Sea Exhibit post, we left the exhibit seeing a school of anchovies.
As that was also one of the first things we saw as we entered the Kelp Forest Exhibit. This time the anchovies were actually displayed in a cylindrical tank showing how a school of anchovies actually naturally swim in a a cylindrical formation.
These guys do not stay on exhibit for long because they will become food for the bigger fish on exhibit. But at least they are fresh and locally caught.
The Kelp Forest exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium is one of the tallest aquarium exhibits in the world.
Unlike the big aquarium at the Open Sea exhibit, the Kelp Forest exhibit is a much brighter exhibit. The tall aquarium looks like you’re looking into very large vertical monitors in a way.
The water is actually ocean water that is being pumped into the exhibit and then with specially designed surge machine a constant water movement helps keep the kelp alive (and healthy).
This movement is actually quite calming. You’re simply looking into the Kelp Forest and watching the kelp sway (I guess we can almost just sway along.
Maybe that’s whey they have several rows of benches for people to sit down and watch. And of course it’s also for the Kelp Feeding time. Feeding times will definitely fill up the exhibit.
The kelp forest is a major part of the ocean ecosystem. The kelp is home for young fish, sea urchins, starfish, etc. (and the sea otters favorite foods).
Away from the 28 feet deep (tall) aquarium, you can get a closer look at the kelp and kelp forest. The Kelp Forest Canopy Walk here lets you imagine what it may be like to walk/swim though a kelp forest without getting wet.
And with a closer look, we found several different types of fish almost camouflaged in the kelp. I’m not sure exactly what kind of fish they were though. Maybe a kelp bass? or Senorita fish?
And then we were once again reminded that the Monterey Bay Aquarium is a very child friendly aquarium with lots of little fun little areas for kids to run explore through little playground like areas. I tried to walk into one, and ended up finding myself having to crawl out of it.
Ok, at least there are some interactive things for adults as well. There is a little display giving information and conservation information about sharks. Here (in the picture above, we got to feel how rough shark skin really is.
One of many tough pools throughout the museum, the touch pool in the kelp forest exhibit was the only we stopped at.
Although we never put our hands into the touch pools, the aquarium staff members were wonderful to tell us about what was in the pool in front of us. In the picture above, the aquarium staff member is trying to feed the live abalone some kelp. Too bad the abalone wasn’t hungry.
And then we headed downstairs for another spectacular sight of one of the worlds tallest aquarium exhibits.
There are so many different types of fish (of all sizes) living together in this exhibit. When I first looked back at all of our pictures at the aquarium, I was quite surprised to see how beautiful this picture came out to be. (Sorry family, I can’t remember who took it.
Check out the leopard shark swimming with that school of fish around it (at first I thought those were bubbles).
With such a tall aquarium there are quite a few opportunities where you will even see the the shark (and fish etc.) swimming above you.
I found this gold lipped fish just hanging out on the the side of the aquarium, and it was so fun with it staying so still for me a get a picture. And then it swam away before I can show my family; at least I got a good picture. I wonder what kind of fish this is.