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.
Spot Amigo! How can you distinguish the youngest member of our African penguin colony from the rest? He's still sporting his juvenile coat! To find Amigo in our Splash Zone exhibit, look for the one penguin with a gray head in the crowd of dapper black-and-white birds.
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!
What a stunner! Our aquarists work hard at raising purple-striped jellies (Chrysaora colorata) behind the scenes from tiny ephyrae larvae to elegant adults. Large and striking, these adult jellies are silvery white with deep-purple bands. But not all sea life is sensitive to their sting—mola molas have been seen eating these jellies in Monterey Bay. You can find them here in our Open Sea galleries.
Fly far, far away! Sooty shearwaters are currently refueling in Monterey Bay before continuing on to the Southern Hemisphere to breed. They have the longest migration of any vertebrate on the planet, traveling 40,000 miles round trip every year! You may catch huge flocks of these birds gliding in at sunset, or see a large gathering on your next whale watching trip!
Crazy for cephalopods? Meet the newest critter in our Tentacles special exhibition: the broadclub cuttlefish (Sepia latimanus)! This second-largest member of the cuttlefish family gets its name from its two club-like tentacles, which it uses to strike and grab prey. A master color-changer, this cunning predator hypnotizes prey with flashing, brightly colored bands that ripple along its skin.
How enchanting! The lion's mane nudibranch, Melibe leonina, is back on exhibit in our Kelp Forest gallery. Swaying on kelp blades, it catches passing plankton in its large hood and lays tulip-shaped egg masses throughout the forest, ready to hatch out the next generation of these extraordinary—and watermelon-scented (!)—super slugs.