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We are delighted to announce that we are open and once again welcoming people into the Visitor Center. Read below for more trip details.
Trips to the Visitor Center will be a little different than before lockdown. For the time being, we require visitors to make a reservation which is good for an hour-long visit. Up to 50 guests per hour will be allowed in the Center.
Cynthia Resendiz (left) holds up a sea star and the shell of a sea urchin for a recent visitor to see. Resendiz is a volunteer at the Visitor Center, as well as the new director of the Oregon Coast STEM Hub.
Visitor Feedback: "Thank you for the amazing training that your volunteer Jeff provided! We were VERY prepared for tide pool viewing at Coquille Point. We read the tide charts and got amazing views. This place is an exceptional value at only $3 per person!"
We are delighted to report that a giant Pacific octopus is on exhibit!
When you visit, you might notice a variety of toys in the octopus tank. Our aquatic animal husbandry staff use toys, as well as routine interaction, with these animals to keep them engaged and active. Octopuses are extremely intelligent and inquisitive creatures who need social time to stay healthy and happy. If you are curious about these eight-armed wonders, check out this frequently asked questions page. You can also check out the octopus online via the OctoCam. Below is a video of a resident octopus playing with its toys.
Contrary to appearances, this fantastical creature is a living animal. While a bit bizarre, this creature has some amazing adaptations that help it survive!
What is a Basket Star, exactly?
A Basket Star is a cousin to brittle stars and sea stars (which you can find in our touch pool)! Both basket stars and brittle stars have thin, “brittle” arms that easily break off, which make them a little different from the sturdy Ochre stars and Bat stars in the touch pools. All of these animals can regenerate an arm that has been lost.
How do they eat? I don’t see a mouth!
Basket Stars are suspension feeders, which is a specialized type of filter feeding. They live in areas where there is fast flowing water, and use their branched arms to grab anything floating by! This can include various plankton, fish larvae, small mollusks and crustaceans, and even jellyfish!
Where are they found; I’ve never seen one on the beach?
Basket Stars are found subtidally, which means you won’t find them in the tidepools. Most observers find them from 30 feet depths, all the way down to 1,800 feet! What a range!