Feeling sheepish? We’d love your creative caption for this photo of Maq, our African blackfooted penguin chick who hatched last March.
Thanks to penguin keeper Monika Rohrer for the great shot!
Need something relaxing? Check out this new video of our beautiful crown jellies. You can see them now in “The Jellies Experience”!
Win Tickets to “The Party with Alton Brown”
Enter to win tickets to the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “The Party with Alton Brown” sweepstakes, through Feb. 28. You could land one of two pairs of tickets to the new Cooking for Solutions event everyone’s talking about! This decadent dessert-focused fête on Saturday, May 17, is perfect for late-night party lovers. Meet special guest host Alton Brown, who will be on hand to sign books throughout the evening. Enjoy music, sweets, savory surprises, signature cocktails and more. (You must be 21 or older to enter and attend.)
Bonus: Based on entries received each week, we’ll select one weekly winner to receive a gift package filled with some surprisingly delightful goodies!
Gray whale traffic jam? It’s a nice problem to have! Our expert spotters say it’s that special time of year when the first gray whales are returning from their southern calving grounds, heading north; while others are still heading south. Thankfully, no collisions reported!
(Laura Francis NOAA)
Not only does the “electric flame” or “disco” scallop have cool names, it’s also quite striking! This clam generates light by unfurling its reflective mantle. Scientists believe this is to lure prey, or perhaps serve as a warning to predators.
See it now in the Splash Zone tunnel!
Love jellies? We have a new species, lemon jellies (Aegina citrea), in “The Jellies Experience”. They were collected here in the bay with the help of our sister organization, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and raised behind the scenes. These jellies are unique because they swim with their tentacles out front, using them like a rake to catch other jellies.
This group (there are several species) also is one of the most abundant jellies in the bay, and is found in high numbers even in the oxygen minimum zone.
Catch it now! Our friends at SeaOtters.com just added a live stream of their wild otter cam on Facebook. Earlier this morning we counted 20 otters in plain view! The cam was created thanks in part to your donations.
Help Us Find the Person Who Shot Three Sea Otters
In early September 2013, members of our Sea Otter Research and Conservation team recovered three sea otters that had been shot to death near Asilomar Beach, in Pacific Grove. State and federal authorities are actively investigating the fatal shootings, and now they need your help finding the perpetrator.
We and other sea otter conservation groups are offering a $21,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the individual(s) responsible for the crime.
Southern sea otters are slowly recovering after being driven nearly to extinction by fur traders in the 19th century. Today, they’re protected under federal law by the Endangered Species Act and the Marine Mammal Protection Act. Killing a California (or southern) sea otter is a crime punishable by federal and state fines, and possible jail time.
If you have any information about the shootings, contact Special Agent Souphanya of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at 650-876-9078. Anonymous reports can also be made by calling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service contact line at 703-358-1949, or the California Department of Fish and Wildlife CalTIP line at 1-888-DFG-CALTIP.
Reward contributions have been provided by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Defenders of Wildlife, Friends of the Sea Otter, the Humane Society of the United States, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, the Monterey Bay Aquarium, The U.C. Davis Karen C. Drayer Wildlife Health Center and private individuals.
The California Department of Fish and Wildlife is providing a portion of the reward money from the California Sea Otter Fund, which is financed by voluntary contributions from state taxpayers. The fund helps support sea otter research and conservation, including the investigation of sea otter deaths and the enforcement of laws protecting sea otters. When filling out your California income tax form 540, look for line 410, labeled California Sea Otter Fund, under Contributions.
Happy Valentine’s Day! Do you love octopuses, like our aquarists do? Turns out they may have the supreme power to love you back, since a male octopus has three hearts! Not only that, but they skip a beat when introduced to a female.
Study Documents Crude Oil’s Toxic Impact on Tuna Hearts
Scientists from Stanford University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have discovered that crude oil interferes with tuna heart cells in ways that can lead to cardiac arrest and sudden cardiac death.
The specific mechanism behind the cardiotoxic effects of crude oil were documented for the first time in work by the Stanford team at the Tuna Research and Conservation Center, a 10-year collaboration between Stanford and the Aquarium.
Because heart function in tunas is similar to that in humans, marine mammals and other vertebrates, the Stanford team is recommending further study to determine if human hearts are at risk when they’re exposed to the same hydrocarbon compounds in polluted air.
The Aquarium, Stanford and NOAA funded the research project.