Mote Marine Lab & Aquarium | Shark Tracker & Coastal Waters

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Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium Outdoor Main Building

Last time we visited the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium we trekked through the indoor portion of the main building, today we will continue our journey by stepping outside and visiting the Florida coastal ecosystems. These coastal ecosystems provide vital seafood, rich natural beauty, and protection against storms. Nearly 40% of the population of the United States live in coastal areas. The Western side of Florida's coast is fringed by mangroves from Tampa Bay to the Indian River.

In these first few tanks we learn how Mote Marine Laboratory scientists are studying Caribbean King Crabs and their potential benefits they may have for local reefs as well as how they are being challenged by: elevated temperatures and ocean acidification.

The next two aquariums teach us about life in a seagrass bed. Many marine animals rely on these seagrass beds for shelter, food, some even spend a lifetime in the seagrass beds like the pipefish & Seahorse. Protecting this environment is important in seahorse conservation. Here we also get a view of the dwarf seahorse, which is currently being considered for listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act.

Other exhibits here teach us about how marine animals protect themselves, like the barbs on the Scrawled Cowfish. Others are masters of disguise like the spotted scorpionfish. At Mangrove island we learn about this unusual tree that can grow in saltwater. There are also displays on Red Tide, Scallop Research and the evolution of Shark Research at Mote.

Shark Tracker gives us a look into Florida Bays, where the fresh water flows from land and into the salty water of the sea. These regions provide important breeding and foraging grounds for thousands of animal species, from Marine Mammals to Sea Turtles and Sharks. In this area we will also come across a touch tank for Sea Stars as well as a Touch Pool for Skates and Rays.

Near the main Shark and Ray Exhibit we learn what mollusks are, what can be found on Florida beaches as well as a glimpse at the Mote Aquaculture Research Park. At the main Shark tank we learn that Mote researchers support many science-based conservation efforts to protect sharks in the wild as well as studying Behavioral Ecology & Psychology, Marine Biomedical Research, Marine Immunology and Sensory Biology & Behavior.

As we make our way out of the main building we will get a glimpse into the labs. When we come back to the Mote Aquarium, we will cross the street and take a look at the resident Sea Turtles, Manatees and Otters at the rescue center.

Thanks for joining me on this Trek through the Coastal Waters and Shark Tracker habitats! -Brad

If you are looking for more Mote Aquarium videos, here's a full tour of the main building indoors -
Mote Marine Lab & Aquarium, mote marine laboratory and aquarium, Mote Marine Lab & Aquarium Shark Tracker & Coastal Waters

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