Sea Notes - January 2004
Visit What's New on our web site for our "Cuddle
with a Cuttle" feature, as well as photos for many of the stories
1. EXHIBIT NEWS: ELECTRIC RAY, SEVENGILL SHARK, ORCAS AND PLOVERS
Theres now a male Pacific electric ray in the Monterey Bay
Habitats exhibit. Since it's a young-of-the-year animal, it's
small and may be difficult to spot. Ask a volunteer guide to
point it out when you visit. We've also added a male sevengill
shark to the exhibit. He weighs 77 pounds and is six and a half
feet long. (You can download wallpaper of a sevengill shark in
Free Offers below.)
Our Sandy Shore aviary gained two new inhabitants with the
addition of two semipalmated plovers. Both are males originally
collected in Massachusetts by the New England Aquarium.
Semipalmated plovers winter in California along the coast and at
the Salton Sea.
Think green at the Slough Fishes exhibit just outside the aviary
when you look for four grass shrimps. They're the same color as
the eelgrass they live on. The exhibit is also filled with
pipefishes large and small.
Big news recently was a weekend sighting of about 70 orcas in
Monterey Bay. Its the largest number ever reported here, as far
as we know.
Visit What's New on our web site to learn about other new
arrivals in our exhibits.
2. AT THE AQUARIUM: FEEDING SHARKS
How do you feed a shark at the aquarium? Very, very carefully. In
a new approach, our aquarists don SCUBA gear, carry four-foot-
long tongs and feed the sevengill sharks in the Monterey Bay
Habitats display twice a week, offering salmon steaks and
sardines. The shark "feeder" stays put and waits until a shark
swims by before offering food; he or she does not chase a shark
to get it to eat. The "feeder" is accompanied by a "fender,"
whose main job is to prevent crowding around the food station--
not only by two or more sharks, but also by other fishes that
might get nipped in the process. The "fender" also records how
much each shark eats.
This feeding method helps the sevengills avoid nose abrasions
from bumping against walls or rockwork, lets us monitor the
amount of food consumed by each shark, and is exciting for
visitors to watch. We never let the sharks go hungry. That's why
they're unlikely to try and eat other fishes in the exhibit.
Once the sevengills are fed, our aquarists hunt for our angel
sharks (usually well hidden under the sand). Once they spot them,
aquarists attach fish to foot-long sticks and slowly move them
toward the sharks' mouths. Whoosh! Hungry angel sharks quickly
grab the food and wrestle it off the stick.
We will be featuring a special shark feeding program during our
"Celebrating Sharks" weekend on Jan. 24-25. You can preview the
program online with our "sneak peek" shark-feeding video.
3. UPCOMING EVENTS: NEW YEARS EVE, CELEBRATING SHARKS, LOVE AT THE AQUARIUM
New Years Eve Party, December 31, Wednesday
There's still time to make reservations for our shimmering New
Year's Eve gala on Wednesday, Dec. 31 from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. Enjoy live music by Larry Lynch and the Mob as you celebrate in our exhibit galleries. Details and reservation information in Whats
Celebrating Sharks, January 24-25, Saturday-Sunday,
Join us for a weekend of shark-related programs and activities at
our first "Celebrating Sharks." The event features special
auditorium programs, talks with shark aquarists, feeding shows,
crafts, traditional hula dancers and a chance to win tickets to a
preview of "Sharks: Myth and Mystery," our new special exhibition
that opens April 2, 2004. Learn more about the weekend's
activities and watch our "sneak peek" shark-feeding program
Love at the Aquarium, February 14, Saturday,
On Valentines Day, love will be in the air and under water
during this romantic evening of delectable tastings, dancing and
surprising insights into the mating secrets of marine creatures.
Theres an optional strolling dinner at 7 p.m. in the Outer Bay
galleries with dessert, wines and live music. The DJ dance party
starts at 8 p.m., with chocolate tastings and optional tastings
of Monterey County wines. Admission for dinner and dance party is $85/person. The dance party with wine tasting is $45/person;
without wine tasting, $35/person. Advance reservations required
for dinner. Contact Event Sales at (831) 647-6877, or by e-mail
Sharks: Myth & Mystery, Opens April 2
Be among the first to experience our newest special exhibition,
with nearly two dozen species of sharks and rays, and galleries
that celebrate the impact these amazing animals have on human
cultures around the world. You can find out more about this
exhibit online with our new exhibit preview page.
Our online calendar has details and more events.
4. CONSERVATION IN ACTION: NATIONAL SEAFOOD GUIDE, CONSERVATION CONTEST
No matter where you live or travel in the United States, you can
enjoy great seafood and protect the future of ocean wildlife when
you use the new National pocket guide created by our "Seafood
Watch" program. The guide features the most common seafoods found on menus and in markets across the United States. We've rated several popular species for the first time: stone crab, blue
crab, grouper, flounders and squid from international sources.
The National guide joins our West Coast pocket guide. In 2004,
we'll create several more regional guides. You can preview and
download the National and West Coast guides at
Help conserve our oceans together with your family or school
group! When you participate in our "Ocean Conservation Contest," you could win a free overnight camp-in at the aquarium. Contest
deadline is April 30, 2004. You'll find contest rules at
5. FREE OFFERS: GIFT STORE & PORTOLA DISCOUNTS, SEVENGILL SHARK
This month's Sea Notes specials include 10% off a stuffed animal
over $9.95; a coupon good for 10% off the served menu in the
Portola Cafe's Bay View Lounge and Oyster Bar from 3:00 p.m.
until 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday; and free wallpaper of a
Source: Monterey Bay Aquarium "Sea Notes" newsletter/press release.