Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Shinagawa Aquarium

The final destination of interest during my Tokyo trip was the Shinagawa Aquarium. The first series of tanks here featured recreations of several Japanese aquatic environments. Here are a few Japanese catfish.

A Japanese eel.

A spot-billed duck and (non-native) red-eared sliders.

Off to the side were a number of smaller tanks. One had this red gurnard and some schooling fish I can't identify.

A flatfish exhibit with a similar setup to one I saw at the Vancouver Aquarium.

A common octopus. Several individuals lived in this complex of tanks, connected with transparent tubing (part of one is visible in the background). Besides the tubing, other enrichment items such as seashells, jars, and flowerpots were also present.

Outside the main building, there was a dolphin tank that looked too small for the number of dolphins present.

There was also a display for Magellanic penguins, again much smaller than the one at the Sumida Aquarium.

A spotted seal lounging at an artificial breathing hole.

From here, one can overlook Shinagawa Park (which the aquarium is situated in). Some wild birds were out and about, such as the pair of spot-billed ducks and the white wagtail in this picture.

The spotted seal exhibit is one of the highlights of this aquarium. Here's the same seal at the breathing hole viewed from underwater. At some points the tank surrounds you on four sides and you can see seals pass overhead and beneath your feet.

Elsewhere on the lower floor, there's a large tank with one of those underwater tunnels that are so common at aquariums. Here's a large sea turtle.

A moray eel and a school of sea bass. One inhabitant of this tank that I don't remember seeing before but didn't get a picture of was a barracuda.

From a smaller tank just beyond, a bamboo shark or a catshark, I can't remember which.

Some upside-down jellyfish.

A number of archerfish. Across from them was a fairly standard coral reef setup.

Some axolotls. Across from them was a much larger tank that housed giant freshwater fish from varying locales.

Continuing onward, there were many displays on unusual adaptations. This is a South American leaffish.

A school of Indian glassfish and glass catfish.

An electric eel, really a big knifefish rather than an eel. Its tank was much more bare-bones than many other exhibits I've seen of this species.

A goby guarding a burrow entrance, probably that of its symbiotic partner, a pistol shrimp. However, the shrimp chose not to show itself that day.

A number of shark exhibits, including this model of a goblin shark, paved the way for a sand tiger shark tank near the aquarium exit. The tank itself looked a little small for such large fish, but on the whole the aquarium appeared to be well maintained despite its shortcomings.

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