Georgia Aquarium – Aquanaut Adventure & Coldwater Quest February 7-11, 2022 The Aquanaut Adventure Red Abalone (Haliotis rufescens): The red abalone is a large gastropod of the Eastern Pacific. It’s simple, light-sensing eyes are retractable, and can be pulled into the body when threatened. They live on the West Coast of the U.S. from Oregon to Baja California. Their diet consists of algae, seaweed and kelp. (Information from Georgia Aquarium). Green Surf Anemones (Anthopleura xanthogrammica): The body of the sea anemone is composed of pedal disc, or foot, a cylindrical body, a central mouth and an array of tentacles. They can be found in the Pacific Ocean from Alaska to Panama. They are also found on the eastern coast of Russia. Their diet consists of plankton, small fishes and invertebrates. Coldwater Quest Beluga training and feeding time. Sea Otters hard at play The Weedy Sea Dragon can grow up to 12.6 inches and exist on a diet of small crustaceans including tiny mysid shrimp, as well as worms and other invertebrates. They live in Southern and Western Australia and the southern tip of Tasmania. Strawberry False Coral are a small, aggressive corallimorph (a relative of anemones and coral). They live in colonies capable of expanding and over competing other anemones or coral. Their diest consists of very small invertebrates and plankton. Their natural habitat ranges from the rocky Washington State beaches on the American West Coast to the coral reefs off the coast of Baja California. Big-Bellied Seahorse (Hippocampus abdominalis) is known for and named after its uniquely prominent abdomen. This species grows to be among the largest and fastest swimming seahorses. Their diet consists of zooplankton including small crustaceans such as copepods. They can grow up to seven inches and live in the Southwest Pacific around Australia and New Zealand. Their habitat consists of shallow seagrass beds and weeds; sponges and hydrozoa colonies in open water. Penguins at play In order to live in Arctic waters belugas have developed unique adaptations such as a very thick layer of blubber, as well as skin that is times thicker than the skin of land dwelling mammals. Flamboyant Cuttlefish (Metasepia pfefferi) have an internal shell called a cuttlebone, which helps regulate buoyancy. In this species, the cuttlebone is small, resulting in a cuttlefish that spends most of it’s time on the seafloor. Their diet consists of small fish, crustaceans and gastropods. They can be found in the Indo-Pacific Ocean between northern Australia and southern New Guinea as well as some islands in the Philippines. The Clown Anemonefish (Amphiprion percula) and Bubble-tip Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor) have a mutualistic relationship as tehy work together to benefit one another. The anemone’s tentacles protect the anemonefish who in exchange remove parasites from the anemone. Splendid Garden Eel (Gorgasia preclara) & Spotted Garden Eel (Heteroconger hassi). Garden Eel colonies can consist of several hundred individuals in areas with good current and food availability. The Splendid Garden Eel is easily recognizable by their colored stripes. They are very wary and can quickly retract, tail first, into their burrows. The Spotted Garden Eel has a diet of drifting zooplankton. Because of this, eels usually face the same direction, into the current. Instead of having a dorsal fin, which would contribute to loss of body heat and be prone to injury from floating ice, beluga whales have a dorsal ridge, and adaptive way to live in Arctic and sub-arctic waters. Banggai Cardinalfish (Pterapogon kauderni) This fish has a special way of caring for its young called mouthbrooding. Once the female lays the eggs, the male will then protect the eggs by holding them in his mouth until they hatch. The Soft Corals (Alcyonacea) are not reef builders as they lack the calcium skeletal structures that hard corals grow that eventually become coral reefs. The health of the coral in an area is a good indicator of the health of the local environment.