For D.'s recent birthday we spent a special day in San Francisco at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park, noted for its recent make-over including one of the deepest exhibits of live corals in the world, the Philippine Coral Reef in the Academy's Steinhart Aquarium. Here are some of the pics I took.
The Philippine Coral Reef exhibit is 25 feet deep and holds 212,000 gallons of water.
Coral reefs are the most diverse aquatic ecosystems on the planet, as well as one of the most endangered.
A couple of the giant clams (Tridacna sp.) in the exhibit.
Other animals in the exhibit include soft and hard corals, blacktip reef sharks, stingrays, and more than 2,000 colorful reef fish.
Some of the stingrays . . .
Sugar Sting-Ray Leonard
Sting-Ray Liotta and Sting-Ray Romano
They are serious about the lighting here, having to replicate the intensity of the tropical sun in often-foggy San Francisco.
120 metal halide lamps emitting the ideal wavelengths for photosynthesis have been strategically placed above the reef to create an energy-efficient lighting system.
Skylights in the roof also allow natural sunlight to reach the corals.
Bonus! Stingray video!
Stingray eggs hatch inside the mother and the babies develop inside as well, feeding on yolk at first and then absorbing “uterine milk” from their mother. The young are born as miniature adults, free-swimming and ready to feed on their own.
More pics are on the way, so watch this space!
Snakes and Lizards here.
African Hall here.
California Coast here.