Showing posts tagged as "tentacles"

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.

Learn more about our Tentacles exhibit

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)

Raising awareness, one image at a time

We know that beautiful images can move people in profound ways to act on behalf of animals.

National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore is on a mission to inspire people to protect wild animals by taking studio portraits of their kin at zoos and aquariums for his Photo Ark project.

The stark black and white backgrounds equalize the animals’ importance, whether the largest elephant or the smallest insect.

"By isolating animals on black and white backgrounds, we can look them directly in the eye and quickly see that these creatures contain beauty, grace and intelligence. Perhaps some even hold the key to our very salvation," Joel says.

At the Aquarium

We had the honor of hosting Joel recently for two fun and frenetic days as he photographed birds, fish, cephalopods and invertebrates. Joel’s hardworking staff is busy processing thousands of images he shot here and elsewhere, but we’ll soon share more of ours — plus what it’s like to work with Joel, a dozen aquarists, two other photographers and 30 critters parading in and out of one room.

In the meantime please support Joel by liking his Facebook page. To date Joel has documented nearly 4,000 animals for the Photo Ark and won’t stop until he gets them all — and you can help!

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.

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

Need a cool image to enliven your computer desktop? How about this crazy cock-eyed squid? 
We’re displaying amazing deep-sea cephalopods like the cock-eyed squid in Tentacles with the help of our sister organization, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). These animals come and go so check here and on our Facebook page for the latest!View all our wallpapers

Need a cool image to enliven your computer desktop? How about this crazy cock-eyed squid?

We’re displaying amazing deep-sea cephalopods like the cock-eyed squid in Tentacles with the help of our sister organization, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI). These animals come and go so check here and on our Facebook page for the latest!

View all our wallpapers


Happy #Friday! There’s nothing common about this cuttlefish: the common cuttlefish (Sepia officinalis)  uses its skin to communicate—flashing stripes and patches of color convey threats or courtship messages. We’ve raised generations of them at the Aquarium.

On exhibit in Tentacles!

Last chance! Share your love of #MBATentacles on Instagram or Twitter and you could win one of eight packs of eight tickets to the Aquarium! Sweepstakes ends Friday. 

Enter now

Have our eight-armed animals captured your imagination? Check out these submissions to our #MBAtentacles sweeps and share your own on Instagram or Twitter—you could win! 

Learn more

Have you entered our #MBATentacles sweeps yet? Your submissions so far are crazy, creepy, cute, cuddly and just plain cool! Submit yours today via Twitter or Instagram and you could win.

Learn more


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.