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Spring is here. Are you ready?

CLAWS Opens With A Bang At Oregon Coast Aquarium

(Newport, Oregon) – The new crustacean exhibit at Oregon Coast Aquarium opened this week with long lines to get in and anxious and excited patrons taking in the diverse world of crabs, lobsters, shrimp, isopods and copepods.

About 35 species of crustaceans are on display, with names like Sally Lightfoot, peppermint shrimp, tiger pistol shrimp, cleaner shrimp and skunk cleaner. The exhibit also showcases interesting critters like the horse shoe crab, whose blood is actually blue (and technically not part of the crab family). There is a red king crab, which spans five feet and weighs 24 pounds. The mantis shrimp has with “smasher” appendages that can produce a blow close to the power of a .22 caliber bullet and may be called a “thumb splitter.” These are joined by leaf barnacles, giant acorn barnacles and slipper lobsters.

On Saturday, people waited long hours in the rain to see the new exhibit.

“We’re very pleased at the tremendous turnout,” said Marketing Director, Carrie Lewis, “It’s so much fun watching kids do the crab dance.”

The extraordinary color and active habits of crustaceans make the animals themselves fun to watch, but children will especially enjoy the hands-on activities. A variety of interactive displays explain crustacean adaptations from crab movement and claw strength to shrimp vision.

A dance floor offers kids a chance to learn how to do the crab dance to a video by the same creators of the Claws radio commercial. Radio Disney dancers led a dance lesson teaching kids the Crab Dance, games and singing on opening day. Colorful comic book-like interpretive graphics and audio-visual media convey the fascinating habits importance of these invertebrates and their importance as a link in the marine food web. Another display demonstrates how a crab “molts” - or cracks out of its exoskeleton. A shoe with every size from infancy to adulthood illustrates a crustacean’s different stages of growth.

Claws was created by a conceptual team at the Oregon Coast Aquarium, which has become adept at building exhibits through practice, having completed the past few changing exhibits all in-house. Artist Michael Cole, whose mural work has been employed extensively on Aquarium walls and in past exhibits, again lends his artistry to Claws in the colorful comic book motif.

The Aquarium’s intent with the Claws exhibit is to enlighten, entertain and amaze.

“If we can get a better understanding of the ocean and habitat conditions that crustaceans need to survive, we might become better at predicting changes in their populations,” said the Aquarium’s publicist, Cindy Hanson. “This will help us better manage fisheries and control over harvesting to ensure the survival of these incredible crustaceans.”

Claws runs throughout the year. Admission is $12 adults; $10 seniors; $7 youth 3-13; age 2 and under free. Hours are 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. 2820 SE Ferry Slip Road. In South Beach, across the bay from Newport. www.aquarium.org or call (541) 867-FISH.


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STARFISH POINT is located on the Central Oregon Coast - in Newport - and offers only the finest in luxury condominium lodging. At Starfish Point, every unit is focused on the beauty of the sea and the beach.
All of the units boast two bedrooms, two bathrooms, designer kitchens, wireless broadband Internet, fireplaces, Jacuzzi’s and private decks - surrounding you in soothing relaxation. We have a friendly staff dedicated to high quality and superb customer service. 140 NW 48th Street, Newport. (541) 265-3751. (800) 870-7795.

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