Caution: orca crossing! We’ve been seeing a lot of whales and dolphins in the bay this summer, but this #ThrowbackThursday photo from 1984 features the only orca ever seen on Cannery Row! This full-size model now greets guests in our main entrance.
Plan your visit
How do you grow a jelly? Our clever aquarists have figured it out. We were the first ones ever to display these surreal South American sea nettles after growing them behind the scenes from tiny ephyrae (babies), received from a lab in Argentina. On exhibit in the Jellies Experience!
Learn more about the Jellies Experience
Planning your Labor Day getaway to the Aquarium? Our free mobile app helps you dive in! Find your favorite programs and feeding shows, learn fun animal facts, and share postcards with friends and family.
Did you know that the giant clam is the largest clam in the world? Ours was put on display in 2007, when it was a mere eight inches. Now it’s 2.5 feet! And who knew that a clam could be so colorful?
The giant clam (Tridacna gigas) can weigh as much as 440 pounds, grow up to four feet, and live to 100 years or more. And all that on a diet of…sunlight! The giant clam gets most of its nourishment through photosynthesis. Tiny algae called zooxanthellae live in its tissues and convert sunlight and carbon dioxide into carbohydrates.
Life’s a breach! Humpback whales are still in the bay feeding on massive schools of anchovies—and we have the best seats in the house. These graceful giants have been breaching, spouting and feeding just off our decks!
Go whale watching from home with our free computer or mobile wallpaper
Hop on down! The red-legged frog just became California’s official state amphibian—and you can see one at the Aquarium. This local leaper was even featured in Mark Twain’s famous story, “The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County.”
Learn more about this threatened species
What lurks in the darkness of Monterey Bay? To predators, the rosy rockfish’s neon colors appear gray because red light doesn’t reach the deep reef. Thanks to staffer Patrick Webster for this dive footage from 90 feet!
Plankton of the world, beware! While most nudibranchs, or sea slugs, crawl and graze, the melibe sweeps its hood through the water like a net, capturing unsuspecting tiny drifters. A fringe of tentacles interlock and trap prey as the hood collapses to help the slug digest its meal.
Melibes may be expert plankton snatchers, but how do these soft-bodied invertebrates escape being a meal? Researchers have followed their noses to the melibe’s uniquely fruity smell—noxious secretions which may ward off nibbling fish. They can also “swim” away from predators by wiggling from side to side.
Living on giant kelp fronds or sea grass, melibes live higher up in the water column than most seafloor-bound nudibranchs. They’ve adapted well to the vertical life—as you can see in the background, their white ribbon eggs hang and sway with currents.
Happy Friday! Feeling good about the weekend? Just don’t flip out on us now. Thanks to staffer Pete Bridson for the great shots!
Learn more about harbor seals
"In my long life, I’ve never been able to see what’s down there. Now, at last, all of us can," marveled Aquarium founder Lucile Packard in the first edition of our member magazine. We’ve been sharing ocean inspiration ever since!
This #ThrowbackThursday, help us celebrate 30 years by becoming a member