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August 4, 2017

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.

July 31, 2017

Five feisty fish! Our Kelp Forest exhibit is home to five bright orange garibaldis—California's state fish. These territorial fish can be aggressive toward one another—and even our aquarists—if they feel their space is being invaded. They defend their territory by charging and making a grunting noise that sounds like a burp. Luckily, there's enough room in our exhibit for them to coexist without ruffling each other's fins. See if you can spot all five!

July 21, 2017

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.

July 6, 2017

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.

June 9, 2017

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.

June 6, 2017

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. 

May 25, 2017

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.

April 28, 2017

It's all in the chin. The California sheephead uses its powerful jaws and large, protruding canine teeth to pry hard-shelled animals—like sea urchins—from rocks. By pruning predators from the kelp forest, this white-chinned fish contributes to the health of California's underwater gardens. Watch it work in our Kelp Forest exhibit!

April 26, 2017

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.