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Category: Animals

Hawai‘i’s Sharks Should Be Revered, Not Feared

April 03, 2018

Sharks are incredibly important to our ocean’s ecosystems and are revered in Hawaiian culture, yet, they are often portrayed in a negative light by media. If we choose to view sharks from a different angle, perhaps fear will fade in favor of wonder and admiration for one of the ocean’s oldest caretakers.

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Longnose Butterflyfish Lauwiliwilinukunukuoioi

Growing up in Hawaii, we learned at an early age how to pronounce the notorious tongue twister: humuhumunukunukuāpua‘a. Naturally, many of us assumed this was the longest Hawaiian fish name, but surprisingly there is another fish that has it beat – the longnose butterflyfish, known simply as lauwiliwili nukunuku ‘oi‘oi.

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Pseudorca_mother_calf_2010Oct22_RWB_0185_credit

Hawaii’s pelagic world is as beautiful as it is dangerous, but for the false killer whale, it’s a place called home. The false killer whale is considered to be the most socially advanced whale species in Hawaii and is a resident of the islands.

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Fact or Fluke?

January 11, 2018
Humpback Whale

Whale, whale, whale… so you think you’re an aficionado of the mightest Hawaiian marine mammal? Let’s put your knowledge to the test to see if you can separate fact from fluke about the Megaptera novaeangli!

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Hawaiian Monk Seal-2 by Shawn Caley

The Hawaiian monk seal is endemic to the 1,500-mile Hawaiian Archipelago and is one of the most endangered animals in the world with an estimated population of 1,400 seals.

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The Yellow Brick Road

January 02, 2018
Yellow Tangs HPU Oceanic Institute 12.18.17-2 (web)

Yellow tangs from HPU’s Ocean Institute represent an advancement in marine aquaculture technology, as well as an economic and conservation opportunity for Hawaii’s reef ecosystems. On December 18, 2017, Maui Ocean Center received its first generation of captive-bred yellow tangs to exhibit at the Aquarium to raise awareness about their species and the developing role of aquaculture in aquarium keeping.

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Christmas on the Reef

December 03, 2017
Christmas Tree Worm

Beneath the ocean’s surface, the colorful Christmas tree worm sways with the gentle pulse of the ocean’s current. Although the Christmas tree worm does not adorn stringed lights or ornaments, it possesses an organic beauty that adds festive colors to the coral reef’s community of inhabitants.

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Operation Nest Defense

November 02, 2017
Hawaiian Sergeant Fish

War is about to break out on the reef. Squadrons of fish circle overhead like fighter planes poised to strike. One by one, the attackers commence their dive on a vulnerable nest of eggs. Reacting with lightning speed, a Hawaiian sergeant fish intercepts the predators and engages in a “dogfight” to defend its nest, repelling barrages of attacks until forcing a retreat. While some causalities are sustained, the nest remains intact.

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Meet the New Shark Pups!

October 26, 2017

In the early morning of September 6th, 2017, a female grey reef shark gave birth to three healthy shark pups in Maui Ocean Center’s Open Ocean exhibit. The pups were recently cleared from their quarantine period and are now on exhibit in the Nursery Bay.

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A Turtle Farewell

October 26, 2017
Turtle Release

Six Hawaiian green sea turtles (honu) were raised at Maui Ocean Center for two years and are now ready to continue life in the open sea. Meet the six honu who will soon call the ocean home!

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