This shorebird sure looks good! If you need some summer style inspiration, turn to our Aviary exhibit. Our elegant American avocet is in its summer finery of cinnamon-apricot neck and head plumage. You can see this large wading bird strut its stuff, as well as a variety of other fine feathered friends in the Aviary.
Why the long face? The broad shape of the hammerhead shark's head is thought to have evolved to give an enhanced field of view all around the shark's body. It also enables its sensing organs, called ampullae of Lorenzini, to find prey buried in the sand. It may also give the hammerhead added lift and help it make sharper turns than other sharks. Check out this skillful shark in our Open Sea.
Don't (or maybe do) lookdown! The lovely lookdown befuddles predators with the help of scales that reflect polarized light and help the fish blend into the background. Lookdowns also swim together in schools, making it hard for bigger fish to pick out a single lookdown to chomp on. You can see this picturesque defense mechanism in action in our newest special exhibition, ¡Viva Baja! Life on the Edge.
No rest for the best nest! Pelagic cormorants are hard at work building their nests just off the back deck of the Aquarium. Using bits of algae and sea grass for bricks, the cormorants employ their own guano as a mortar to fasten their love nests to the cliffs—or in this case, the recesses of the Aquarium's building. You can see these nesting birds from our Wildlife Viewing Station and all around the back deck, right next to our greatest exhibit: the Monterey Bay itself!
Let's shellebrate World Turtle Day! Just outside the Splash Zone exhibit in our Coastal Stream you'll find the beautiful Western pond turtle. These shy turtles live in ponds, lakes, streams and wetlands and can be found in Washington, Oregon, California and Baja California. While they can live to be 50 years old, these turtles are considered a vulnerable species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Our common cuttlefish are anything but ordinary! These cephalopods can change their skin color and pattern almost instantly. They use their skin to communicate by flashing stripes and patches of color to convey threats or courtship messages. Like their octopus kin, cuttlefish also use camouflage to hide from enemies. Visit our Tentacles special exhibition to check out these masters of disguise.
Summer wardrobe change! Our tufted puffins now have their summer breeding plumage. Summer fashion for tufted puffins includes bright orange bill plates and feet, a white "mask" across the eyes and, of course, golden "tufts" of feathers on the head. Visit our Open Sea wing to admire their new look yourself.
Meet the sandbar shark! This elegant elasmobranch, easily recognized by its distinctly large dorsal fin, can often be found scouting sandy or muddy near-coastal areas for fish and invertebrates to snack on. The Aquarium's resident sandbar shark in our vast Open Sea exhibit made a surprising journey to us here at the Aquarium—via airplane from Hawaii!