[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqr-sx-6WuU&w=560&h=315]

The Tentacles exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium allows visitors to get up close to some rarely collected deep sea creatures, which would be otherwise very difficult to view in public aquariums. Some of the stars of the exhibit include a flapjack octopus, which is possibly a newly discovered species, and a vampire squid, which has never been on display before. The Aquarium has teamed up with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, in a collaborate effort between scientists and the husbandry specialists at the aquarium. Deep sea biologists were responsible for finding the unique creatures and bringing them to the exhibits using remote operated deep sea vehicles to collect them. After they were collected, the aquarium staff was responsible for keeping these animals healthy and adapted to the aquarium. This often required dealing with a multitude of potential obstacles, like the diet, lighting and also visibility.  Because of these challenges, particularly the light, some of the creatures are only visible for a couple of days at a time, and then are returned to a dark tank, more similar to the environment in their deep sea habitats, behind the scenes. Not only is this a fantastic opportunity for aquarium visitors, but having these rarely studied animals in viewing has allowed scientists to make new discoveries. MORE

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