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.
Shark swap! We recently added two female sevengill sharks to the Monterey Bay Habitats exhibit! They were collected from San Francisco Bay, a sevengill shark hotspot. The new duo replaced two other sevengill sharks that we returned to San Francisco Bay, as a part of a long-term scientific monitoring program. Sevengills usually stay at the Aquarium for a year or so before they head back to the ocean.
Say hello to Ohlone the penguin chick! Born in February, Ohlone just graduated from being cared for behind the scenes to joining our African blackfooted penguin colony on exhibit in the Splash Zone! Pronounced "O-low-knee," he's named for the Native American people that settled the Monterey Peninsula. You can pick him out of the crowd by his all-gray juvenile coat and the diamond of four spots on his chest.
Nautilus egg-stravaganza! One of our chambered nautilus laid an egg on exhibit in Tentacles! It marks the 10th egg from this group of cephalopods since the special exhibition opened in March 2014. Nautilus eggs are about one inch long and resemble small white blobs of chewing gum. They also have a lengthy incubation time—one egg can take anywhere from 10 to 14 months to hatch.
Whale, hello there! Humpback whales are feeding close to shore lately, making life on Monterey Bay even more exciting than usual! Staffer Dan Albro captured this stupendous shot while kayaking. The graceful giants use air bubbles to herd and corral schools of fish and krill, swimming through with their mouths open to filter-feed. A single whale can consume up to 3,000 pounds per day!
A face only a mother could love! The wolf-eel (Anarrhichthys ocellatus) is a memorable animal—it's actually a very long, slender fish. It can grow to about eight feet long and weigh over 80 pounds. Once it finds the perfect home, it'll stay there for life—about 25 years—if it isn't booted out by an octopus. Look for the wolf-eel during feeding time in our Kelp Forest exhibit!