Showing posts tagged as "cephalopods"
Behold the Flapjack Octopus!
Does this octopus look familiar? The “flapjack octopus” is a rarely observed, deep-sea species, but you may know it better as the inspiration for the animated character Pearl in Finding Nemo. It was collected by our sister organization, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and it’s on exhibit now in our Tentacles special exhibition, which opened this morning for members, and tomorrow (April 12) for the general public!
These images show the flapjack octopus (Opisthoteuthis sp.) in the wild, and in on exhibit. We use a red light to display this species. Since the octopus can’t see red light, it thinks it’s in the darkness of the deep sea, its natural environment.
Very little is known about the life history of these animals. They’re one of the cirrate octopuses – a tiny group within the overall family. We may yet discover more species in this group—with the help of MBARI. They’re helping us learn about many deep-sea species, through video observation and occasionally collecting individuals. One of the flapjack octopuses even laid eggs in our behind-the-scenes holding area. That first batch didn’t mature, but we’ll try again if any other individuals reproduce.
Learn more about the exhibit
We’ve posted photos of the amazing bigfin reef squid before—but no two images are alike! Like many cephalopods, these squid use pigmented skin cells, called chromatophores, to change color and pattern.
Check them out when Tentacles opens April 12
Enter to win a behind-the-scenes tour
An Ancient Fascination
Octopuses and their kin, sea creatures known collectively as cephalopods, have grabbed hold of our collective imagination for thousands of years.
We share this fascination as manifested in art, literature and contemporary culture in “Tentacles: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid and Cuttlefishes.” Highlights include:
- A steampunk-style sculpture made from raised copper and brass with glass in the Japanese technique called “Tankin.”
- Ancient Minoan pottery replicas painted with cephalopod designs.
- An illustration from Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
- A drawing of octopuses attacking a fleet of ships, depicted as fact by a French naturalist in 1803.
- A highly detailed drawing of cephalopods by famed naturalist Ernst Haeckel.
- Glass models of squid and octopuses by father-son team of Leopold and Rudolph Blaschka.
- A replica of the famous abstract work, The Birth of the Cephalopods, by Mark Rothko.
- A dramatic depiction of a sea of ammonites 73 million years ago.
- The intriguing yet slightly disturbing image of Contessa with Squid by Omar Rayyan.
- Cephalopod tattoo art.
We also commissioned San Francisco Bay Area artist Nemo Gould to create three kinetic sculptures for “Tentacles” using found objects. Gould has transformed a jumble of junk into delightful dioramas that carry conservation messages delivered through a sense of wonderment.
“Tentacles" opens April 12.
Have you ever spied one of our octopuses on an energetic day? Sometimes you have to look hard to see them, and some days, well…this happens! Starting April 12, you’ll get more chances than ever to see curious cephalopods, when our new exhibit opens: Tentacles!
True Facts About the Octopus
Ze Frank has done it again! His latest True Facts video offers his unique take on amazing octopuses — including giant Pacific octopus that he and his crew filmed on location here at the Aquarium. The video incorporates spectacular deep-sea octopus footage from our colleagues at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, too.
Whet your appetite for more? You can see these incredible animals in person starting April 12 when we open Tentacles: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid and Cuttlefishes.
Could an animal’s name be more fitting? Behold the “wunderpus”! See this and other beautiful, shapeshifting cephalopods when our exhibit opens April 12, Tentacles: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid and Cuttlefishes!
Are our aquarists passionate about our forthcoming exhibit, Tentacles: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid and Cuttlefishes? Just take a look at the items adorning their offices!
We hope you’re looking forward to the exhibit, too!
Learn more on our website or see some video highlights.
Need a new wallpaper for your computer or mobile phone? This bigfin reef squid is one of the many amazing species you’ll see when our Tentacles special exhibition opens April 12.
Download the wallpaper now.
Enter to win an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour.
Enter our “It’s Time for Tentacles!” sweepstakes and you could win an exclusive, behind-the-scenes tour of our new special exhibition: Tentacles: The Astounding Lives of Octopuses, Squid and Cuttlefishes (opens April 12). You’ll also get free Aquarium access for the day and an Aquarium gift card to use in our Gift & Bookstore or restaurant. Bonus: Based on entries received, we’ll select one winner each week to receive a special gift package. Enter now.