Puffin? You Otter Know!

Thursday, May 17, third entry – The Florida Tech Biological Oceanography students visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium! There was so much to see at the aquarium.

Tidepool touch tank at the Oregon Coast Aquarium. Many of these critters we have seen in their natural habitats on their field trips, but there were a few less common things we hadn’t seen yet (like abalone).
The sea pen Ptilosarcus gurneyi, related to corals (so cool!)
Pink-tipped sea-anemone – another great shot!

There were excellent intertidal invertebrate and tidepool displays.

Pacific Giant Octopus (Octopus dofleini) – nice shot Holly!
Hannah and Abbie enjoying one of the many fish displays at OCA.


There were subtidal fish displays.

The Oyster Catcher has a distinctive cry and hammers limpets and snails off of intertidal rocks with its tough orange beak.

There was even an aviary with some of the endemic coastal seabirds of the Pacific Northwest, including the Pigeon Guillemots and Common Murres we saw at Sea Lion Caves, but also including the more exotic looking Oyster Catchers and Puffins (for latter, see image at top of post) – gotta love those Puffins!

Sea otters at the Oregon Coast Aquarium represent their historical presence on the Oregon Coast, driven extinct by fur traders.

Most of the Florida tech Biological Oceanography students enjoyed the sea otter exhibit. It is interesting that OCA has this exhibit, since sea otters were hunted to extinction on the Oregon coast. They have rebounded in neighboring California and Washington, but for some reason, not in Oregon, although there have been some rehabilitation and release attempts to re-establish them.

Fresh seafood – a nice change of pace from the daily dining hall!

Before hitting the road back to OIMB, the Florida Tech Biological Oceanography class went to dinner locally, a break from the dining hall at a place recommended by the cashier in the OCA gift shop.

Fresh seafood caught daily on the restaurant’s very own fishing vessel.

This place has its own boat and delivers a fresh catch daily and direct to its menu.  It also has a fun, eclectic but maritime thematic décor.  The consensus:  thumbs up!


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