I recently visited the The Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach for the first time. Even though I have mixed feelings about zoos and animals living in captivity, I can’t help but be fascinated by the beauty of the ocean and sea life. Seeing the animals playing made me so happy, I felt like a kid again.
The sea otter is so darn cute and amusing I could have watched him all day! The sea otter wears the heaviest fur coat in all of the animal kingdom. This has, sadly, made it an extensively hunted species in the past. The good news is … they have been protected in more recent years and remain on the endangered species list. They use rocks as tools to dislodge their prey and open shells, such a clever little character! They also help protect kelp forests from damage from over population of sea urchins (they eat them for lunch). We just added a new wallet case featuring a little sea otter by artist, Kelly Vivanco. Look at this adorable little guy holding his sea urchin lunch.
I absolutely love the penguins! Always so formal, they make me feel under dressed.
The jellyfish are so gorgeous and graceful and fun to watch (especially with glass between us). Jellyfish have roamed the seas for at least 500 million years (or more) which makes them the oldest multi-organ animal.
The sea lions love to chat!
The seahorse is so prehistoric and mystical looking to me. The male seahorse actually carries the eggs for the female. When he gives birth, his belly swells from contractions and he expels anywhere from 5 to 2,500 tiny seahorses, depending on his size! Geez! Freakishly fascinating creatures! He is then ready to mate again within hours with the next female seahorse that comes along, they are not a monogamous lot!
Speaking os sea life, I love this new painting by Caia Koopman. It depicts the endangered monk seal. Caia’s painting is part of a multi-artist print release done with PangeaSeed, a Japanese/Hawaiian marine life focused environmental organization. The prints are available here.