This jelly looks like it's from outer space—but you can see it in our Open Sea gallery! The lovely lobed comb jelly has a translucent body covered with eight rows of cilia that look like rainbows when exposed to light. As the jelly glides through the water, it collects zooplankton in its mucous-covered lobes.
There's a new puffball in our Aviary! We're giving this rescued western snowy plover a safe home in our exhibit because of an eye injury that'll make it hard for her to survive in the wild. The new bird will also help foster rescued chicks as part of our snowy plover rehabilitation program. Since launching the program in 2000, we've successfully released 134 plovers back into the wild, including 84 from rescued eggs.
A rare find! For the first time in our 30 years, we have a skilfish (Erilepsis zonifer) on display! This unique visitor was found by a Bay Area fisherman 1,800 feet down the steep slopes of the continental shelf, just off of the Farallon Islands. It's now making itself at home in our Monterey Bay Habitats exhibit.
Welcome our new little loggerhead! A hatchling rescued as part of North Carolina Aquariums' Sea Turtle Program is now on exhibit here in our Open Sea gallery. We'll raise the turtle for a year or two until it's big enough to be released back into the ocean. We've been fostering rescued baby loggerhead turtles since 2013.
Bon voyage, little turtle! The juvenile loggerhead turtle that spent the last year growing in our Open Sea gallery recently returned to the ocean! Rescued on the shores of North Carolina, the tiny turtle came to the Aquarium for care weighing less than half a pound and just over four inches long. Now large enough to be released back to the wild, the turtle joined dozens of other foster turtles and staffers from aquariums around the country for a special send-off.
Our murre chick makes his debut! The young murre (Uria aalge) that hatched at the Aquarium on August 11 is now on exhibit with the seabirds in our Open Sea wing. As part of the species survival plan to help wild murres, he's one of several murres to have hatched out at the Aquarium. After several months of learning how to be a murre behind the scenes with dad, this youngster is now making himself at home—look for a smaller murre with a single, black band on his leg.
Ladies first! Like many fish in the wrasse family, California sheephead (Semicossyphus pulcher) change genders as they age—all begin as females and become males later in life. For sheephead—found in our Kelp Forest—it's a matter of producing offspring. Because of the amount of energy it takes, this fish can fertilize more eggs as male than it can make as female, giving females incentive to make the switch.