Showing posts tagged as "giant pacific octopus"
Happy Valentine’s Day! Do you love octopuses, like our aquarists do? Turns out they may have the supreme power to love you back, since a male octopus has three hearts! Not only that, but they skip a beat when introduced to a female.
More to Sea in Our Octopus Exhibit
The most famous residents of our giant Pacific octopus exhibit are, of course, the beautiful octopuses themselves. But did you know there are lots of other amazing animals sharing the display? These species came from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, our sister organization just up the road.
White or glass sea cucumber (Pannychia moseleyi): Lives at depths greater than 400 meters in the Monterey Bay Canyon. When disturbed, it bioluminesces with brilliant blue-green spirals to deter predators. (Dave Robel)
Deep sea sun star (Rathbunaster californicus): This animal has as many as 22 arms, which it can shed as a defense mechanism. Predators investigate the wriggling arm as they crawl to safety, then it regenerates the lost arm! This star scavenges dead animals such as fishes and whales. It also feeds on fishes, crustaceans, and molluscs. (Dave Wrobel)
Common feather star (Florometra serratissima): This star has feather-like pinnules that cover the arms and are used for feeding. Tiny tube feet secrete mucus that helps capture food particles such as marine snow and small zooplankton. (Craig Racicot)
Johnson’s sea cucumber (Parastichopus johnsoni ): Like many other deep-sea creatures, this animal is bright red, helping it hide in deep water, where red is invisible (appearing black). (Dave Wrobel)
Have you seen them? Our giant Pacific octopus exhibit now includes what may be the largest collection of deep-sea rockfish ever on exhibit, from right here in the bay. This includes chili pepper, halfbanded (shown), short belly and pygmy rockfish. It’s a trick to safely exhibit these fish, which can be found at depths of 300 feet.
I spy with my little eye…
We have a new female giant Pacific octopus on exhibit!
Ever wonder why they call it the giant Pacific octopus? Husbandry staff believes that our current resident is the largest we’ve ever exhibited, at more than 16 feet from tip to tip. Aquarist Alicia Bitondo doesn’t seem the least bit concerned!