Editor's Note: this post introduces our newest contributing author and photographer, Nate Bernardo. All images in this post are © Nate Bernardo, 2009.
It was a beautiful Wednesday morning when I decided to head out to Monterey. I packed my bag with water, food, and a book to read on the bus and left my house with my SLR camera.
While I was on the way to the café I overheard some women talking about a great white Shark being introduced to the Outer Bay exhibit. When I was finished eating I rushed to the Outer Bay exhibit, and when I got there, a large crowd had formed in front of the glass viewing pane., that prevented me from getting a good picture. An announcer came on and told people who had just arrived what was happening and as she said that I got my first glimpse of the great white as it slowly meandered across the front of the viewing pane. I took some snapshots and waited a good while longer to see the majestic fish a few more times before I decided to check out the jellyfish exhibits that were just outside the Outer Bay. The Jellyfish exhibits were beautiful and healthy and after a few more shots I proceeded toward the new Secret Lives of Seahorses exhibit.
Once at the exhibit, I first saw two large tanks full of docile fish, coral, invertebrates and seahorses. There were graceful sea dragons living along with vivid soft coral and beautiful Tridacna clams. Again, I took some photos and moved on to the next part of the exhibit. This part of the exhibit houses the myriad of infant seahorses, some being less than a quarter of an inch in size. Some of the grow-out tanks were actually full of live baby brine shrimp that the babies were hunting. A few more shots and about ten feet later I got to the main area of the exhibit, which contained a varied assortment of seahorses and sea dragons. The specimens ranged from the miniature dwarf seahorse to the sizable yellow seahorse. Living along with these fragile animals were many types of marine flora and invertebrates such as various sea grasses, lobsters, and crabs. Shortly after finishing up my walk through the Secret Life of Seahorses, I realized the aquarium was about to close, so I headed back to the entrance to end my day at the aquarium.
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