The giant clam returns! This rare beauty recently spent some time behind the scenes while we created several new coral community displays in our Splash Zone exhibit. The giant clam is the largest clam species in the world and can weigh as much as 440 pounds, grow up to four feet, and live to be 100 years old or more. Be sure to stop by and welcome it back—and check out the colorful new corals while you're there!
See a mola mola on the move! This slow, deliberate swimmer was once thought to simply drift along in the ocean currents. However, scientists have tracked this funny disc-shaped fish swimming at a pace up to two miles per hour. That's still too slow to catch a meal in our busy Open Sea exhibit, so our aquarists train the mola to come to a target at the surface to be fed.
See suppertime for the sevengills! Our aquarists dive into the Monterey Bay Habitats exhibit to hand-feed our majestic sevengill sharks. This feeding method allows us to ensure the sharks are getting enough food and monitor their overall health and behavior. Sevengill sharks are commonly found along the Monterey Bay coastline, and our exhibit sharks will be tagged and released back to our coastal waters after spending anywhere from a few months to a couple of years on exhibit.
Meet a mighty fine cuttlefish! Pharaoh cuttlefish are back on display in our Tentacles special exhibition. This cephalopod is known for its metallic blue, green, gold and silver coloration, which it can change in a flash for camouflage, communication or courtship. It lives in coral reefs of the Indo-Pacific, usually hovering near the ocean bottom, where it uses its two long tentacles to catch small shrimps, fishes and crabs.
Selka's a successful surrogate! Selka already had an exciting life story when she first joined our Sea Otters exhibit in August 2016. She'd been rescued and returned to the wild twice before making the Aquarium her permanent home. Now this clever and inquisitive girl can add yet another chapter—raising her first pup as a surrogate mother. She taught him how to groom his fur and find food, and very soon, he'll be ready to be released. Good job, Selka!
Use your voice, box(fish)! The newest resident of our ¡Viva Baja! special exhibition is a cute square-shaped fish that hums during courtship rituals and buzzes to defend itself and its mates. The spotted boxfish lives in coral and rocky reefs in the Pacific Ocean and tropical Indo-Pacific. This adorable polka-dotted fish gets its shape from a bony carapace that encases most of its body.
New dreamy drifters! Several lion's mane jellies (Cyanea capillata) have been added to our Open Sea wing. Despite being used as a murder weapon in the Sherlock Holmes novel, The Adventure of the Lion's Mane, the sting of this toxic species isn't fatal to humans. So relax and enjoy the mesmerizing display as these calming creatures cruise the currents.
Hello, feathered friend! The newest addition to our Aviary is a rescued black-bellied plover that could no longer survive in the wild due to a wing injury. But why is its belly white? Stay tuned—the species is named for its striking black-and-white breeding plumage.
Scurry, float, bloop! Now on exhibit: pelagic red crabs, also known as tuna crabs. These crimson crustaceans washed up en masse in Monterey Bay during the 2015 El Niño. We raise this lively community behind the scenes, and you can see them scurry along the sand or pump their tails to scoot through the water in our Open Sea wing.