Showing posts tagged as "octopus"

Can’t stop watching this strolling cephalopod? Don’t be fooled by its delicate movement—the mimic octopus can easily scare off potential predators. In a flash, this master of mimicry changes its color and shape to hover like a lethal lionfish or slither like a poisonous sea snake. Learn more

Can’t stop watching this strolling cephalopod? Don’t be fooled by its delicate movement—the mimic octopus can easily scare off potential predators. In a flash, this master of mimicry changes its color and shape to hover like a lethal lionfish or slither like a poisonous sea snake. 

Learn more

Our aquarists can get pretty wrapped up in their work! Share YOUR love of cephalopods on Instagram or Twitter and you could win one of eight packs of eight tickets to the Aquarium! #MBATentaclesLearn more 

Our aquarists can get pretty wrapped up in their work! Share YOUR love of cephalopods on Instagram or Twitter and you could win one of eight packs of eight tickets to the Aquarium! #MBATentacles

Learn more 


Caution: splash zone! This #ThrowbackThursday photo captures a soggy moment between our giant Pacific octopus and Randy Hamilton, now vice president of husbandry. Giant Pacific octopus recognize and interact with staff—and can use their powerful siphons to their advantage! Learn more 

Caution: splash zone! This #ThrowbackThursday photo captures a soggy moment between our giant Pacific octopus and Randy Hamilton, now vice president of husbandry. Giant Pacific octopus recognize and interact with staff—and can use their powerful siphons to their advantage! 

Learn more 

Missed the start of #CephalopodWeek? Catch up with this cephalopod video triple feature from Science Friday! Get a glimpse behind the scenes of the Aquarium and the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and see how we culture cuttlefish and study mysterious vampire squid.

Watch the videos

But wait—there’s more! Tune in to Science Friday tomorrow—part of the radio broadcast will feature the ocean’s most mysterious multi-armed family.

True fact: the octopus is popular! We had a great time working with Ze Frank when he created his video, “True Facts About the Octopus”. In the three months since its debut, it has rocketed up the charts: more than 4 million views and climbing! 

Soon it will pass “True Facts About the Mantis Shrimp" (featuring another colorful character you’ll find in our exhibit galleries). After that? The tarsir, then sloths. Watch out, Sad Cat Diary: The Octopus is on its way!  

Tentacles on the tracks! An eight-armed surprise awaits Bay Area commuters when they board Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) trains this summer. The Aquarium has five octopus-themed cars in circulation—look for them on all BART lines!

In addition to adding color and fun to the daily commute, the Aquarium is underwriting free transportation on BART so that 40,000 school children can take field trips anywhere BART trains travel. BART Board Vice President Tom Blalock helped unveil the Tentacles cars. He was joined by another Aquarium summer attraction: an octopus puppet that will appear at concerts, festivals and sporting events throughout the region.

Share your love of #MBATentacles and you could win!

Home sweet home! Watch our veined octopus set up camp in a glass jar.

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Home on the Road: This Octopus Just Loves Life in a Shell

Is this the original RVer? The veined or “coconut” octopus’s home is wherever it puts down its, well, shell. And we’re glad to announce there’s one parked in our Tentacles exhibit right now.

But it’s not just a coconut shell that this cephalopod settles down in. Our Curator of Husbandry Operations, Paul Clarkson, says that the veined octopus (Amphioctopus marginatus) will “pick up anything at its disposal” to make a home on the road. This includes old cans, bottles, boots, shells and yes—coconuts. In fact, it’s proud to take up residence in any recently foreclosed property on the ocean floor. It’s all home as far as this cephalopod is concerned.

It could just be the ultimate recycler.

Octopus odyssey

Paul was recently part of a trip to the Philippines,  and his sole goal was to collect this curious cephalopod. The trip was organized by the California Academy of Sciences, which also happens to be the only other aquarium in the U.S. to have displayed them.

The dive site was near an old pier, which—unfortunately for the ocean, but perhaps not so much for the octopus—was rife with trash. He said they would often find the animals closed up in clam shells, with just their eyes poking out, surveying the scene. If spooked, Paul said, the octopus would “just duck down and close up the shell.” To move, it would pick up the shell and just hit the road.

This made life easy for the scientists on the trip. “To collect these octopuses, we would just take the whole house, with the animal inside. It was good for them, and easy for us.” The shell also furnished first-class accommodations on the flight to California.

Paul found that, if he was patient, the octopuses were quite sociable. “If we just sat still, with a crab or other prey, they would come right over and eat out of our hands.”

About the veined octopus

The veined octopus is found in Indo-Pacific waters, has a fist-sized body and lives to be a year old. Common prey items include crustaceans and small fishes.  

You can find it in our Tentacles exhibit, in the spot formerly occupied by the two-spot octopus, which has been moved behind the scenes. Don’t be surprised to find this vagabond displayed with some of the junk that commonly forms its home in the wild.

Watch a veined octopus make a home out of a coconut shell

Learn more about our Tentacles exhibit

Good trick! Glowing spots deceive predators and prey into thinking that the two-spot octopus has extra eyes. On display in Tentacles!

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Is it any surprise that this animal’s name is Wunderpus photogenicus? This boldly patterned octopus is now on exhibit in #Tentacles! Watch the wunderpus in action (Charlene Boarts)

Is it any surprise that this animal’s name is Wunderpus photogenicus? This boldly patterned octopus is now on exhibit in #Tentacles!

Watch the wunderpus in action

(Charlene Boarts)

About me

The Monterey Bay Aquarium, perched on the edge of a world-famous coastline, is your window to the wonders of the ocean. It’s located on historic Cannery Row in Monterey and is open daily except Christmas Day.

For more information about our animals and exhibits, and to view our live web cams, please visit www.montereybayaquarium.org.

Hours of operation vary by season. Daily schedules and tickets are available on our website or by calling
(831) 648-4800.