Mote Marine Laboratory is an independent not-for-profit marine research organization based on City Island in Sarasota, Florida.
Founded in 1955 by Eugenie Clark in Placida, Florida, it was known as the Cape Haze Marine Laboratory until 1967. The laboratory aims to advance the science of the sea, both through its marine and estuarine research labs and through the public Mote Aquarium and its affiliated educational programs.
Mote Aquarium is the public outreach arm of Mote Marine Laboratory, displaying more than 100 marine species with a focus on local marine life. The Aquarium opened in 1980 on City Island in Sarasota Bay. Visitors can see sharks, manatees, dolphins, sea turtles, seahorses, rays, skates and invertebrates. Mote Aquarium also includes windows into Mote’s working laboratories. The Aquarium hosts birthdays, weddings, corporate gatherings and other events, and can provide special group tours designed to show visitors how staff tend the animals and exhibits.
New exhibits at Mote Aquarium created in 2009 include the Seahorse Conservation Laboratory, which displays baby seahorses that Mote staff are raising for other aquariums throughout the United States, and Sea Turtles: Ancient Survivors – an exhibit with live sea turtles and displays highlighting the sea turtle conservation and research at Mote. The Aquarium now also has narrated shark feedings, in which large sharks are trained to go to specific targets for a food reward.
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