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.
It's a lionfish! A sea snake? No, it's a wunderpus! In a flash, this master of disguise can change its shape, hue and color, making it easy to mistake for a venomous sea creature. However, those with keen eyes can recognize its fixed stripes and spots, which have allowed scientists to identify and monitor individual animals in the wild. We've just added a wunderpus to our Tentacles special exhibition, so you can meet this marvel firsthand.
A jelly super bloom! After four years of absence, sea nettle swarms have returned to Monterey Bay. No one is quite sure what triggers these blooms of jellies—it could be water temperatures, currents or other factors. Scientists are gathering reports of jelly sightings to help understand the ocean conditions that promote these mysterious animals. Keep an eye out for these drifters in the water off our back decks.
Home, stinging home. The clownfish lives amid the stinging tentacles of a sea anemone. When it moves in, this colorful swimmer develops a layer of mucus that makes it immune to the anemone's stings. This arrangement works for them both—the anemone protects the clownfish from predators, and the clownfish defends its home from other anemone-eating fishes. You can see this pair living in harmony in our Splash Zone exhibit.
Comb jellies are living rainbows. As they move through the water, their eight rows of cilia defract the light and produce a beautiful, shimmering effect. We are the first aquarium to successfully raise comb jellies, and you can see two species—the lobed comb jelly and the sea gooseberry—on display together in our Open Sea exhibit.
My, what a big mouth you have! Male sarcastic fringeheads (Neoclinus blanchardi) defend their territory and size one another up by opening their massive jaws. Though usually less than a foot long, these pugnacious fish make up for their small size in big attitude. Check them out in our Monterey Bay Habitats exhibit.
Behold the psychedelic cephalopod! Scientists suspect the ever-shifting colors of the flamboyant cuttlefish help trick potential predators into thinking this creature is just too weird to eat. Most other cuttlefish dart away when threatened, but this regal rhino remains stationary, warding off foes by flashing its hypnotic color scheme. See its dazzling display for yourself in our Tentacles special exhibition.
Whoa, baby! One of our baby giant sea bass has just graduated to a bigger exhibit. This fish started out just under an inch long but now stretches more than a foot—well on its way to the gargantuan proportions of a fully grown 500-pound adult. Check it out in its new home on the second floor of our Kelp Forest exhibit.