The Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is an aquarium that focuses on the marine life of Southern California. Located in San Pedro, a suburb of Los Angeles, the facility is operated by the City of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation. Aquarium visiting hours are Tuesday through Friday from 12:00 pm until 5:00 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 am until 5:00 pm. The aquarium is closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.
While the rocky shore is a difficult place to live, some of the largest and most diverse marine animals and plant-life can be found here. At the "touch tank'' exhibit, guests are invited to touch a wide variety of rocky shore marine life such as a sea urchin or sea hare. A "touch tank'' expert is on hand to answer questions and teach visitors the names and special traits of the animals displayed. In the camouflage tank, in aquariums 15 and 16, guests are welcome to try and located octopus and moray eels, which have adapted to match their surroundings.
The Open Ocean Exhibit is home to jellyfish, light-producing animals and other bizarre and beautiful organisms. At the Aquatic Nursery, guests are invited to see what is growing inside the husbandry lab. The Fish Diversity Tank showcases fish of various shapes, sizes and colors, as well as sharks. The Channel Islands are a veritable breeding ground for seabirds, seals and sea lions, in this portion of the exhibit, feeding and nesting habitats are highlighted. The last are to be explored in the Open Ocean area are whales and dolphin skeletons, complete with informative displays, video and recordings of whale sounds.
The aquarium has a tank devoted entirely to beaches and mudflats. Here guests are invited to view fish, crabs, clams, sand dollars and sand stars. Right outside the exhibits guests are welcome to stroll along the Cabrillo Coastal Park extension and swim and picnic on the beach area. During the week, Sea Rangers are available to take guests to the "Salinas de San Pedro'' mudflat habitat.
Throughout the year, Cabrillo Marine Aquarium hosts several annual events centered on education and environmental appreciation. Such exhibits include the Grunion Program, Open House for Educators, a Coastal Cleanup and Saltmarsh Open House, an Autumn Sea Fair, Sea Scare, Chinese New Year, a Whale Fiesta, an Earth Day Fair and Shark Week. The events are held to help educate people about the various marine life and preservation efforts undertaken for their protection. Guests will enjoy participating in informative tours, fun-filled activities and learning all about the facility.
A visit to Cabrillo Marine Aquarium is designed to engage visitors in education through interesting displays and exhibits, and strives to promote knowledge and appreciation about marine life. The aquarium charges no fee for admission, however donations are welcomed. With more than 70 years of devotion to aquatic research and preservation, a visit to the aquarium is the best way to learn all about the interesting world of marine animals.
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