Showing posts tagged as "Splash Zone"
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.
Need an underwater demolition expert? Meet the pocket-sized peacock mantis shrimp. Its claws can move so fast that they shatter clam shells—and generate light. Our latest podcast has more tales about this tiny terror!
Down the Hatch! Watch Our Little Penguin Chick Eat a Big Fish
Gulp! How’s our African blackfooted penguin chick doing behind the scenes? Well, it now has a name (Rey, for “Monterey”), is comfortable being hand-fed, and weighs a portly 3.4 pounds! The youngster was born at the Aquarium June 4, and will go back on exhibit with its parents, Karoo and Messina, after a few months.
Happy #FathersDay! Did you know that in the seahorse family, fathers are tasked with carrying young?
These zebrasnout seahorses are currently on display on our Splash Zone!
My, what big teeth you have! This dragon moray eel enlists cleaner shrimp to keep its teeth clean, and the shrimp get a free meal. Check out this unusual partnership in action in the Splash Zone!
(Photos: Travis Johnson)
We’ve got disco fever! Find out how our electric flame scallops are putting on nonstop light shows in the Splash Zone!
"Hey, you lookin’ at me?" Our African blackfooted penguins are naturally curious, as you can see from this great photo, taken by penguin-keeper Monika Rohrer.
Learn more about this endangered species on #WorldPenguinDay
Happy #WorldPenguinDay from our colony to yours! Join the penguin-palooza with our live web cam. Look closely—some penguins may be tucked away in the rocks!
View our Penguin Cam
Learn more about how we’re helping rear endangered African blackfooted penguins, in our podcast.
Coming in Like a Lion(fish)
March is supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb as stormy winter weather gives way to a milder spring. Now April is coming in like a lion, too – with the latest addition to our Splash Zone galleries.
The new arrival – the captivating and beautiful lionfish – isn’t just another pretty face. It’s an infamous fish that carries an important conservation message.
Far from Home
Native to the Indo-Pacific and Red Sea, lionfish are fabulous residents of their home waters. Unfortunately, they were introduced to waters off the U.S. east coast in the mid-1980s and are now a destructive invasive species from the mid-Atlantic through Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean and into Central and South America.
Cause for Concern
Their fluttering maroon-and-white-striped dorsal fins hide venomous spines that require our husbandry teams to take extra precautions around them. Yet the bigger concern is the threat these fish pose to ecosystems in waters where they don’t belong.
Invasive lionfish have no natural predators outside their home waters, and they compete with native fish for both food and habitat. Lionfish have a hearty appetite for commercially and ecologically important native fish species, and are able to thrive in waters from the shoreline to depths of more than 400 feet. In warmer waters, females are capable of spawning 30,000 eggs every four days, making them prolific breeders and poster fish for invasive species.
The Edible Invader
Our exhibit lionfish were collected from the Florida Keys, where the species has taken a foot – or rather fin – hold since 2009. Absent other lionfish predators, people have adopted the mantra “Eat ‘em to beat ‘em” to encourage consumption of these marine invaders. (They are as tasty as they are beautiful.)
You don’t have to wait for our Tentacles special exhibition (opens April 12) to see cool cephalopods at the Aquarium. These red octopuses in our Splash Zone have been particularly active lately! Read how one adventurous red octopus went on a midnight ramble at the Aquarium