Several touch tanks near the research area hold a variety of sea creatures for close viewing & study, an opportunity to see many species that live below the low tide. This delicate plumose anemone was firmly attached to the shell of a live geoduck.
The beautiful pink-tipped anemone has rather sticky tentacles, a bit like velcro.
The spines of sea urchins are not rigidly affixed – when pushed, they move at the ball & socket joint at the shell. I had never previously noticed the numerous threads among the spines, only apparent on the live animals.
A variety of sea stars have their own tank separate from the other fauna as they are all voracious predators.
Two aquaria on the main level hold creatures of both sandy & rocky bottom ecosystems. The textured body columns of these giant Painted Anemones in the rocky aquarium looked like woven or knitted fabric!
This rockfish peering out from its lair was one of the few creatures that were not quite so alien in appearance.