Bringing You Behind the Scenes: A Look Inside Our “Tentacles” Laboratory

Ever wonder how you raise a baby squid? No one knows for sure, but if you’re Aquarist Chris Payne, you start with a trip to the hardware store for these unlikely ingredients: fishing line, plastic ties and Super Glue.

“The eggs need to be suspended in water, just like they are in the wild,” Chris says of cultivating bigfin reef squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana) eggs. He explains that these squid attach their eggs to rocks or corals—anywhere they can be hidden. To replicate this behind the scenes, our aquarists rig up cool contraptions like this one—an inventive way of hanging the eggs in order for them to hatch. 

The aquarists cleverly use monofilament line to sew through the tips of the pods, or “fingers,” gather them in small clusters, then suspend them using plastic ties. But other methods work, too. “It doesn’t matter how you hang them. We’ve even Super-Glued them to a solid structure hanging just below the surface of the water,” Chris says. 

We’re currently raising about 300 pods, each containing two to six embryos. Suspending the eggs also allows aquarists to observe their growth. “You can actually see the embryo developing inside,” Chris says. The eggs grow in the three-inch pods for two to three weeks, and swell in size before hatching out. The squid are barely a quarter-inch long when they hatch but can grow to more than a foot. 

Bigfin reef squid are just one of the fascinating species that’ll be on exhibit in “Tentacles: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid and Cuttlefishes,” opening next spring. It’ll feature a dozen species of octopuses and their kin—some of which have never been shown before. 

As our aquarists work to cultivate and care for these mysterious creatures, we’ll be sharing more behind-the-scenes stories like this. So stay tuned!

Learn more about “Tentacles”


  1. twobloggersinlove reblogged this from des8pudels8kern
  2. gobletofrock reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
  3. limitlessserenity reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
  4. artiste9999 reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
  5. thelandlockedmermaid reblogged this from deepseanews
  6. ithinkinamber reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
  7. molluscamanifesto reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
  8. lohien reblogged this from oceansthefirstfrontier
  9. im-dunkeln-gehen reblogged this from des8pudels8kern
  10. des8pudels8kern reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
  11. achillescraven reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
  12. flyinghighrose reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  13. nangoat reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
  14. ivanlopezse reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
  15. eviscerator1111 reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
  16. burrsquee reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
  17. i-am-ink reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
  18. hannahandherscissors reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
  19. reticent-y reblogged this from ambiguations
  20. nessnesirena reblogged this from celestial-plague
  21. quietnowlove reblogged this from ambiguations
  22. kasyumin reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  23. ambiguations reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  24. cronope reblogged this from whomping
  25. whomping reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  26. skylar1592 reblogged this from ravenno
  27. kaelingoat reblogged this from montereybayaquarium
  28. oetmeal reblogged this from juslau
  29. furieshand reblogged this from rhamphotheca

About me

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, perched on the edge of a world-famous coastline, is your window to the wonders of the ocean. It’s located on historic Cannery Row in Monterey and is open daily except Christmas Day.

For more information about our animals and exhibits, and to view our live web cams, please visit

Hours of operation vary by season. Daily schedules and tickets are available on our website or by calling
(831) 648-4800.