OdySea Aquarium to unveil 16 new exhibits this weekend

OdySea in the Desert is located 9500 E. Via de Ventura. (photo by Lauren Crites)

OdySea Aquarium is expecting to unveil 16 new exhibits including nine new aquatic aquariums, four insect habitats and three land exhibits, Saturday, Feb. 25.

The new exhibits will be on both the upper and lower levels of the aquarium and vary from an open-air perch for the Toucan to intimate aquariums lower to the ground designed for guests to get up close to the animals and see some unique species, a press release states.

“As we continue to grow, we also continue to elevate the guest experience,“ said General Manager Greg Charbeneau in a prepared statement. “Our goal is to be the most interactive aquarium in the world for guests of all ages.”

Some of the notable aquatic species in the new exhibits include:

  • Batfish: they are rare and delicate species not often seen in aquariums. Batfish’s fins have modified fins that act as walking legs.
  • Blind Cavefish: these fish evolved in underground caves with no light. As a result, they have no pigment or eyes and they rely on their lateral line system to feel movement in the water.
  • Hillstream Loaches: these fish are found in Asian streams with strong currents. They have evolved to have fins modified to act like suction cups to aid in adhering to the rocks.
  • Dwarf Lionfish: they are venomous; however, they have effective toxins used to defend themselves.  The effect is mild on humans, unlike their relatives like the “Stonefishes,” whose toxins can be deadly.

The Animal Ambassador program, where animals “walk around” with Animal Care Specialists and interact with guests, has been very popular at OdySea Aquarium, the release states.

Three of the new exhibits will serve as homes to these animals — a two-toed sloth, a Toucan, and Amazon Parrots.

“Animals like Squidney the sloth are crowd favorites and we heard from guests they want to see them more, so we built homes for these animals on the exhibit floor,” said Jessica Peranteau, Director of Animal Care & Conservation.

The OdySea Aquarium is at 9500 East Vía de Ventura.

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