Showing posts tagged as "exhibit updates"
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
"Most people go their whole lives without seeing them or coming to understand their beauty, quirkiness and braininess."
Vampire (Squid) Diaries
Fear this? Maybe not. The vampire squid has a scary name but just eats dead stuff. With help from our colleagues at MBARI, we just added a huge, 12-inch “vamp” to our Tentacles exhibit!
The vampire squid (Vampyroteuthis infernalis) is an ancient animal that lives in deep tropical and temperate waters—like the Monterey submarine canyon. Despite its sinister appearance—and its name, which means “vampire squid from hell”—this animal is a scavenger. Look closely to see its thin feeding filament. This sticky tentacle catches “marine snow” that rains down from above: a mixture of poop, dead animal parts and mucus.
Learn more about Tentacles
(Thanks to staffer Patrick Webster for the great photos)
Sharks are voracious eating machines: fact or fiction? The Aquarium’s biggest sharks are also the lightest eaters! Broadnose sevengill sharks reach 10 feet, but these giants digest meals slowly and only eat every few weeks.
Learn how we’re studying and helping save these majestic animals
Could this be the best animal name ever? The “sarcastic fringehead” just loves life in a boot—watch it ambush an afternoon meal in this 12-second video. The fringehead is fiercely territorial, remaining close by its chosen rock crevice, empty shell—or whatever!
Plan your visit
Did you know that our popular pelagic rays come right over at feeding time? “They’re very charismatic,” says one aquarist, tossing them another shrimp. “They flip over on their backs and scoop the food in with their fins. It’s like playing ring toss at the carnival!”
Watch them “fly” on our live cam
Shimmering, sleek and speedy! Schooling anchovies find safety in numbers—can you keep track of just one fish without getting mesmerized?
Watch them with our live Kelp Forest cam
Have you seen them? With mom close by, harbor seal pups lounge on rocks near our decks. Awkward on land, they’re sleek and agile in the water as they speed after their next meal.
(Photo: Gene Barclift)
How do you display deep-sea cephalopods like this vampire squid? It takes a big ship, a lot of scientists, and a robot. Learn how we do it, with the help of our colleagues at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, in our latest podcast.