Time for a penguin bird-day party! We recently celebrated Durban—the oldest member of our African penguin colony, who just turned 25. The average lifespan of an African penguin in the wild is only 15 to 20 years. As you can see, our incredible aviculture staff provide the very best care for our animals!
It's a new day! We recently added a new day octopus to our Tentacles special exhibition. This animal is native to the warm waters of the Indo-Pacific and is sometimes known as the Hawaiian day octopus for its tendency to be found around the Hawaiian islands. Unlike many cephalopods, the day octopus is diurnal, meaning that it is most active during daylight hours.
Did someone say slumber party? These striped pyjama squid hatchlings (Sepioloidea lineolata) are growing up in the egg lab in our Tentacles special exhibition. Native to waters around Australia, pyjama squid can grow to about two inches long. They like to burrow in the sand with only their eyes peeking out to spot potential predators and prey, enjoying an all-day bedtime and emerging at night to hunt.
It's that time of year again—nesting season! Our African penguins are currently decorating their love-nests with the pebbles we provide, not to mention any other enrichment toys they can get their beaks on! As part of a Species Survival Plan with other Association of Zoos Aquariums organizations, nesting season and the prospect of healthy chicks play a big part in our work to help this endangered species.
There's a new face in our Aviary! Meet our rescued western piper. This shorebird migrates long distances every year. Due to a wing injury, this piper can't fly well enough to migrate, but it can help wild birds by teaching our guests about seashore ecosystems.
Meet our sleek new swimmers! Six new dolphinfish, or mahi mahi, were recently added to our Open Sea exhibit! It's fun to watch these acrobatic fish zip around in quick bursts and flash golden green streaks when they get excited. Dolphinfish also grow large quickly (see green sea turtle for scale)! They can reach a length of over four feet in the first year of growth, and up to 6.5 feet in four years.
Don't listen to the guidebooks—just goby yourself! Bluebanded gobies have been spotted in the Monterey Bay—a rare sighting left over from El Niño's warm waters. These beautiful fish are quintessential members of the Southern California kelp forest community. We raise our own bluebanded gobies, but our brood-stock originally came from the Channel Islands.
Happy 10th Aquarium anniversary, Makana! Makana—named after the Hawaiian word for "gift"—is the only Laysan albatross at an accredited zoo or aquarium in the United States. She can't fly or survive on her own because of a permanent wing injury. Makana has been with us since 2006 and is a great ambassador for her kin in the wild and the deadly threats they face from ocean plastic pollution and longline fishing gear. To see Makana for yourself, visit the Kelp Forest at 1:30 p.m. for our Albatross Encounter!