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Children and families find fun and learning at the Oregon Coast's Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport



Octopus and Wolf Eel Feeding Presentations, Behind The Scenes Tours, Daily Guided Estuary Walks and  "Ocean Quest: Undersea Volcanoes" are all part of the educational fun at Hatfield Marine Science Center this summer.

Admission to the Visitor Center is by suggested donation.

Wolf Eel Feeding

Sunday, Wednesdays and Fridays at 1:00pm

Giant Pacific Octopus Feeding

Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 1:00pm

+ (Beginning June 13th:)

Behind The Scenes Tour

Sunday's 11am

cr-copper-rockfish-lg1Discover how aquarists care for our marine animal collection by joining a free 'behind the scenes' tour of the animal health wing at the HMSC Visitor Center.

Every Sunday at 11 am, graduate student aquarist Michael Liu will lead visitors to the quarantine, holding, medical, teaching, and research areas of the West Wing. Take this opportunity to interact with aquarists and ask questions about the animals and Hatfield Marine Science Center's life-support systems. To participate in this 35-minute tour please sign-up at the front desk. (Due to space restrictions, there is a 20 person limit on each tour).


+ (Beginning June 26th:)

Guided Estuary Walks

Daily at 11 am







"Ocean Quest: Undersea Volcanoes"


Daily at 1:30 pm in the Hennings Auditorium

undersea volcanoOcean Quest: Undersea Volcanoes is a multi-media presentation about Undersea Volcanoes.  Learn about the ongoing deep sea research being conducted by HMSC researchers.  See video of undersea eruptions and of creatures that make their home miles beneath the ocean's surface.

Did you know?

The Wolf Eel is not related to other eels

wolf-eelIt's one of five species in the "wolffish" family. The other four species are not nearly so long and skinny. Wolf-eels look more or less normal-sized down to their neck, and then their bodies just keep going, with thick, muscular waves of tail stretching nearly 8 feet behind them. Adults wind those long bodies into caves and crevices, sticking just their heads out and waiting for something crunchy to swim by. They love crabs, urchins, and shellfish.

Wolf-eels occur in shallow water to as deep as 740 feet (225 m). They swim by making deep S-shapes with their bodies, like a snake moving across the ground. The slender fish are gray as a rain cloud, with large heads and dark spots over their backs. Males have thick jaws and a bulging forehead. Combined with their long, snaggly front teeth they look ferocious, but wolf-eels tend to be aggressive only to other wolf-eels.

Model parents Wolf-eels mate for life, and the pair takes special care of its eggs as they develop. Beginning around age seven, the female lays up to 10,000 eggs at a time, then coils around them and uses her body to shape the eggs into a neat sphere roughly the size of a grapefruit.

You might not think many animals could threaten an 8-foot long fish that lives coiled inside a jumble of rocks with only its fearsome snout poking out. But harbor seals can - biologists saw a harbor seal surface with a live wolf-eel wriggling in its teeth. As the scientists watched, the seal subdued the wolf-eel and ate it for lunch. Different predators go after the young: both rockfish and kelp greenling will eat unguarded wolf-eel eggs.

The Giant Pacific Octopus is a common resident off the Oregon Coast

cr-octopus-lgIt is a predator that dines on crab, shrimp, crustaceans, shellfish, smaller octopuses, and fish, and can chase its prey by "running" or jetting after prey animals and capturing them with its arms. Then the octopus uses its parrot-like beak, located at the center of its soft body, to deliver venom that paralyzes and liquefies the meat of animals. An octopus can spend several hours feeding on one crab and will usually remain dormant until finished.

The octopus is known as the most intelligent invertebrate and exhibits clear signs of both curiosity and memory. Octopuses have been observed climbing out of one tank to grab nearby food in another. An octopus can unscrew jars, uncork champagne bottles, and mimic the behavior of a neighboring octopus.

Octopuses live in rocky dens and will defend their territory until it is time to mate. Females lay 50,000 to 70,000 eggs and will care for them until they hatch. A lot of energy goes into reproduction; both adults will die shortly after the hatch. The territorial nature of this animal makes it nearly impossible to keep more than one in a single tank. Predators include Lingcod, Dogfish, Seals, Sea Otters - and humans.