Bigfin reef squid

Journey to a world of undersea magicians, masters of disguise and quick-change artists. Our special exhibition is the largest, most diverse living exhibit ever created to showcase these amazing animals. You won't believe your eyes.


In this Exhibit

We try to keep this list as up to date as possible but please check with the information desk when you arrive for a current list of animals on exhibit.

Broadclub cuttlefish

Sepia latimanus

Scientists think rippling colored bands along the cuttlefish’s skin might confuse prey. Then long, clublike tentacles strike out and snag a snack.

Range: Southeast Asia, northern Australia

Bigfin reef squid

Sepioteuthis lessoniana

While other squid are lone rangers, when bigfin reef squid encounter predators they school together into one long line to appear larger.

Range: Indo-Pacific
Stumpy cuttlefish

Stumpy cuttlefish

Sepia bandensis

This tiny hunter forages for food along the seafloor. It camouflages itself in sand, coral or algae, then ambushes unsuspecting prey.

Range: Malaysia to the Philippines

Day octopus

Octopus cyanea

While most octopuses hunt at night, this predator spends the day stalking large crabs, clams and fishes.

Range: Indo-Pacific, Hawaii

Giant Pacific octopus

Enteroctopus dofleini

This large octopus hatches from an egg the size of a grain of rice. On day one, its eight little arms already have about 14 tiny suckers each.

Range: Japan to Alaska to Baja California

Chambered nautilus

Nautilus sp.

This animal swims using jet propulsion—it expels water from its mantle cavity through a siphon near its head.

Range: Indo-Pacific
Mimic octopus

Mimic octopus

Thaumoctopus mimicus

This animal changes its color, shape and movements to look like other sea animals. In a flash, it mimics a lethal lionfish or wriggles an arm to impersonate a poisonous sea snake.

Range: Indo-Malayan Archipelago

Two-spot octopus

Octopus bimaculoides

To predators and prey, the glowing blue eyespots on each side of this animal's head look like actual eyes.

Range: central California to northern Baja California
Hawaiian bobtail squid

Hawaiian bobtail squid

Euprymna scolopes

Flinging sand with its tiny fins, this little squid buries itself on the seafloor all day and emerges at night to hunt.

Range: Hawaii


What are Cephalopods?

Octopuses, squid, cuttlefishes and nautiluses are marine molluscs, related to snails and slugs. They're found in all the world's oceans and at all depths. They can be colorful or transparent and range in size from less than an inch to more than 50 feet. More than 800 species of cephalopods have been identified. These animals share a similar body plan that includes a head and eyes, a mantle and siphon, arms and tentacles, a beak and a file-like radula.

Octopus
only have arms
(eight of them)
Nautilus
only have tentacles
(up to 100 of them!)
Squid
have eight arms + two retractable tentacles
Cuttlefish
have eight arms + two retractable tentacles

Adaptations




Related to Tentacles