Showing posts tagged as "exhibit updates"
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
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
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.
Going grocery shopping? Tufted puffins can grasp 10 fish at once in their broad beaks! These diving birds stay underwater for up to a minute as they snap up small fishes, squid and invertebrates.
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!
Did you know that green sea turtles are a bit of an enigma? They travel far and wide, riding currents across the open ocean. Females return to the same beach each year, using magnetic clues as a map back home. They live to be a remarkable 80 years old, and our two are at least 50!
Watch them on our live cam
Our Stumpy Cuttlefish are Laying Eggs!
There’s a lot going on with the stumpy cuttlefish in our Tentacles exhibit. Males are putting on their formal wear, turning jet black and rippling their fins, trying to attract females. The courtship efforts have not been in vain—you can clearly see black clusters of eggs on exhibit, which “look like dark grapes,” according to Aquarist Bret Grasse. Scientists think that the eggs are black because the female wraps them in a bit of ink, making them less palatable to predators.
“They’re laying them on exhibit every day,” says Bret. The “stumpies”—like most cuttlefish on exhibit—are cultivated right here at the Aquarium, reducing the need to collect in the wild. We also occasionally donate babies to other accredited institutions.
Stumpy cuttlefish (Sepia bandensis) is a squat species that forages along the seafloor. It may be small, but it’s a mighty hunter. It hunkers down among rocks, coral, sand and algae, blending with its environment, then ambushes prey. Its native range is from Malaysia to the Philippines.
Here’s lookin’ at you! The sarcastic fringehead likes to spend most of its time sitting in a bottle or boot in our “junk tank,” and has developed an impressive ability to independently move its eyes to scan for prey or predators.
Make a fringehead your computer wallpaper