A happy hatching! The newest addition to our African penguin colony came out of its shell on July 7! This adorable, fluffy chick will stay on exhibit with its parents in Splash Zone until it becomes more mobile, and then move behind the scenes for a few months. This is the third chick to hatch at the Aquarium this year, following Monty and Poppy who both hatched in January. We don't know the chick's sex yet, but stay tuned on social media for updates!
Hang out with our hammerheads! A third scalloped hammerhead shark has been added to our Open Sea exhibit. This beautiful shark is between one and two years old. For the past year, it's been growing up at our off-site Animal Research and Care Center, but now is big enough to join the community of fishes on exhibit. The unmistakable shape of this shark's head is believed to help it track its prey, possibly by improving its sensory perception. The adaptation also appears to increase its agility and maneuverability over other shark species.
Meet nature's scuba divers! Sunburst diving beetles are now on exhibit in ¡Viva Baja! These colorful and active arthropods breathe air, but spend most of their lives under water. How? They carry their own air supply inside a bubble that looks like a bump on the rump.
Recognize this change artist? Our black-bellied plover’s switch from regular to breeding plumage is so dramatic visitors are asking if we have a new bird. For only a few months each summer, this shorebird goes from drab to dazzling with a vivid black face and belly, white mantle and speckled wings.
Penguin chick update! Monty and Poppy, the two African penguin chicks that hatched at the Aquarium on January 19, have rejoined our penguin colony in the Splash Zone exhibit after spending a few weeks behind the scenes learning how to swim. Look out for the two smaller birds with silvery feathers.
Comb jellies are living rainbows. As they move through the water, rows of cilia defract the light and produce a beautiful, shimmering effect. Our innovative aquarists cracked the code to successfully raise these delicate beauties behind the scenes, and now you can see several species on display in our Open Sea exhibit.
Fresh feathers for spring! The red phalarope and several other shorebirds in our Aviary have traded dull, drab winter hues for brighter, richer colors. It's the start of breeding season, and species like the black-bellied plover, American avocet and red knot are also strutting their stuff. Our knowledgeable volunteers inside this peaceful place can point out who's in bloom.
Did that algae just wink? If you spot a bit of seaweed with eyes and fins in our Splash Zone exhibit, you've found one of our new ribboned pipehorses! With its plant-like projections, this fish is often confused for one of its cousins, the weedy or leafy sea dragon. And like another cousin, the seahorse, it has a prehensile tail it uses to attach itself to sea grasses or corals. But despite the family resemblance, the ribboned pipehorse (Haliichthys taeniophorus) is its very own species.
A new school of synchronized swimmers! We recently added 5,000 Pacific sardines to our Open Sea exhibit. Schooling is a survival strategy for these small, silvery fish. When predators come near, it's hard to pick out a single fish among the school's darting movements and reflective scales. Watch in wonder as the sardines swirl through this million-gallon exhibit!
A one-of-a-kind returns! The Moorish idol is back on display in our ¡Viva Baja! special exhibition. This fish, Zanclus cornutus, is the one and only member of the family Zanclidae. It ranges from the Indo-Pacific to the Gulf of California and can be found near reefs and the seafloor. You may recognize it as the character Gill from Finding Dory.
Dive into our Kelp Forest feeding show! Twice a day our divers jump into this iconic exhibit to feed all the fishes—including fan favorites like the leopard shark and giant sea bass. Hand-feeding helps us ensure everyone gets enough sustainable seafood to eat, and check up on their overall health. It's also a great chance for you to get to know the many different species that make up this diverse underwater community.