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.
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.