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Octopus Enrichment Program at SEA LIFE Aquarium

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Octopus Enrichment Program SEA LIFE-2

I am a member of the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Parent Council and receive admission to cover media events.

Did you know that Giant Pacific Octopuses have special cells in their skin that allow them to change colors and textures {YES! I said TEXTURES! It’s SO amazing!}? Did you know they can blend in with even the most intricately patterned plants, rocks, and even wooden backgrounds?

Maybe you already knew that.

But, did you know they only have one solid mass on their body, which is their beak, roughly the size of a quarter? Which means they can fit through anything as long as it’s bigger than a quarter. Seriously! How amazing is that?!

Are you a Giant Pacific Octopus expert? If you are, then you know that they are highly intelligent and can have the learning capacity of a five year old? They have been taught to open jars, take pictures, and paint pictures!

These creatures are amazing.

Lucky for us, SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord is the home of Ruby, a Giant Pacific Octopus. Recently, the kids and I were invited to a media event where SEA LIFE launched their new creature educational program, Octopus Enrichment.

SEA LIFE Octopus Enrichment

Every day at 2:15, Ruby participates in solving puzzle-type activities with a team of trained SEA LIFE aquarists. When we arrived the Shipwreck tank, Ruby was sleeping, but there was a Mr. Potato Head figure with all the parts strewn across the floor of the tank.

Right now, the SEA LIFE team is teaching Ruby how to “tentacle” paint onto paper. She LOVED the interaction with the aquarists! Remember how I said earlier that Giant Pacific Octopuses have special cells in their skin that allow them to change colors and textures? When they are happy and having a good time, they get ridged and turn a deep “Ruby” color. It was amazing to watch her change her shape and colors in an instant. The kids were in awe the whole time.

SEA LIFE Charlotte Concord Octopus Enrichment

The Octopus Enrichment program is open to all visitors. Each session is led by a staff educator and takes place at Ruby’s tank in the Shipwreck area of the aquarium. To plan your visit or learn more, visit www.visitsealife.com/charlotte-concord. Just a note, if you get there before two, you can watch the stingray and shark feeding at 2 pm, just next door to Ruby’s tank. As you can see, my kids were enthralled.

Stingray and Shark Feeding SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord

As a member of the SEA LIFE Charlotte-Concord Parent Council I receive admission in return for writing about events and reviewing the aquarium. As always, any opinions expressed in this post are the honest thoughts of myself and my family. Your opinions may vary.

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