A giant stingray during feeding time in Neo Soho Mall's Jakarta Aquarium in West Jakarta on Wednesday. (JG Photo/Yudha Baskoro)
Jakarta Aquarium's New Creatures of the Deep
BY : YUDHA BASKORO
JUNE 19, 2019
The Jakarta Aquarium now has three new unique marine creatures at its site inside the Neo Soho Mall in West Jakarta: the Giant Pacific Octopus, the Giant Isopod and the Leafy or Weedy Sea Dragon. The three rare creatures are animals of the deep sea.
"The Jakarta Aquarium is also a conservation center. We keep many marine creatures here to preserve them as species," director Will Owens said on Wednesday.
Bringing deep-sea animals to a tropical site was not easy. The Jakarta Aquarium has to make sure they are kept at the same temperature and given the same food as they get in their natural habitat.
Curator Aaron Jup said the Giant Pacific Octopus has eight sucker-covered arms. They have a strong grip that can detect taste and odor, and can enter spaces smaller than its beak. The animal can change the color and texture of its skin to blend with rocks and algae around its body. The Giant Pacific Octopus is usually found in Korea, Japan, Alaska and Southern California.
The Giant Sea Lice or Giant Isopod, a close relative of the shrimp and crab, lives in depths of between 160 and 2300 meters. The Jakarta Aquarium places the Giant Isopod in a dark water tank which resembles its natural habitat.
But the crowd's favorite so far is the graceful Leafy or Weedy Sea Dragon. They have small, leaf-like fins that disguise them from predators. The Sea Dragon is not the same as a Sea Horse even though it has many similarities. Sea Dragons do not have "waist bags" to raise their children.
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti opened the Jakarta Aquarium in October last year. The aquarium, the first in Indonesia to be located inside a shopping mall, is also a marine conservation and edutainment center.