February 6, 2012
The Aquarium of the Pacific has launched three new webcams, allowing visitors to the Aquarium’s website to get a fish-eye view inside Blue Cavern, Tropical Reef, and the Tropical Gallery’s Sex Change exhibit.
The Blue Cavern webcam is positioned just inside the glass, where viewers can watch the residents of this kelp forest habitat swim by. If you time it right, you’ll also be able to spot Aquarium divers.
Visitors to the Tropical Reef webcam feed will be able to see rays and zebra sharks gliding by among hundreds of other animals. The Tropical Reef Habitat is the Aquarium’s largest exhibit, containing 350,000 gallons of water and more than 1,000 animals, from the tiny cleaner wrasse to the large Queensland grouper.
The colorful fish in the Sex Change exhibit make for particularly hypnotic webcam viewing. These fishes have the ability to change from male to female or vice versa depending on certain factors. Anthias and most wrasses are protogynous hermaphrodites. This means they are born female but if a dominant male perishes, the largest female of the group will often change into a male to take its place. On the other hand, clown anemonefish are protandrous hermaphrodites. This means that they mature as males and the largest one will change into a female when the resident female dies.
Check the webcams often to see the animals at feeding time or even to get an insider’s peek at what the exhibits look like at night.
Support for the Blue Cavern and Sex Change webcams is provided by Explore.org, an initiative of the Annenberg Foundation. Support for the Tropical Reef webcam is provided by the Whitney Young Children’s Foundation and Explore.org.