On Tuesday, Nov. 18 at 12 p.m. CT, Shedd Aquarium and Monterey Bay Aquarium will host a Google Hangout On Air session with the public to share the latest progress and information on rescued Sea Otter Pup 681.
Moderated by legendary journalist and aquarium supporter, Bill Kurtis, the live, online event will feature a behind-the-scenes look at the growing Sea Otter pup and first-hand accounts from Shedd and Monterey Bay experts involved in her rescue and continual, round-the-clock care.
Registration for the Google Hangout On Air session can be found at the following:
The Monterey Bay Aquarium is proud to announce the recent hatching of an African Black-footed Penguin chick. The chick is now being cared for by its parents, Karoo and Messina, on exhibit.
The young chick, whose gender is unknown, hatched on exhibit the morning of June 4.
Photo Credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium
The chick weighed 6.9 ounces (195 grams), more than three times the 2.1 ounces (60 grams) it weighed after hatching – indicating that it’s eating well.
“The parents are doing a great job caring for the chick,” said Aimee Greenebaum, associate curator of aviculture. “We enjoy seeing them be such attentive parents.”
But Greenebaum cautions that despite excellent parental and veterinary care, Black-footed Penguin chicks have a high rate of mortality.
All of the birds are part of a Species Survival Plan for threatened African Black-footed Penguins. The plan, managed by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, identified Penguins Karoo and Messina as genetically important to the captive population of this species in the United States, and the aquarium received permission to allow the pair to breed.
This is the fifth chick hatched in the Penguin colony at the aquarium. Of three birds that hatched in January 2011, the two males, Pebble and Tola, survived and are both doing well at Dallas World Aquarium. Maq hatched in August 2013 and is currently on exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
The chick will remain with Karoo and Messina for about three weeks or until it starts leaving its nest. At that time, the family will be moved behind the scenes for the chick’s safety; it can’t be left on exhibit because it could accidentally drown or be injured by adult Penguins in the exhibit. It will eventually receive a name, and the chick (and parents) will rejoin the colony on exhibit about three months later. After one to two years, the chick may stay at Monterey Bay Aquarium or move to another accredited zoo or aquarium.
Staff at the Monterey Bay Aquarium are raising three Snowy Plover chicks, an Endangered species. The aquarium's experienced rehabilitators believe these little guys have an excellent chance of being successfully re-released back into the wild.
Some well-meaning beachgoers brought two tagged chicks to the aquarium for care, thinking that they had been abandoned. Because breeding pairs and nest sites are carefully monitored, it was possible to figure out what nest the chicks had come from and to discover that the father was still caring for his one remaining chick.
Photo credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium
Representatives of California State Parks and Point Blue Conservation Science carefully placed a cage over the chick to keep the parent close by until aquarium staff could arrive with the other two chicks. They then placed all three chicks in the enclosure to give the dad a chance to see them. After ensuring that the male was interested in the chicks, the cage was removed the cage and he began caring for all three once again.
Unfortunately, the father seems to have changed his mind, and all three chicks are now being raised at the aquarium. Fortunately, they have been rehabilitating Snowy Plover chicks since 2000, with dozens of successful releases.
A rescued male Sea Otter pup recently went on exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The rescue, for now named Otter 649, was stranded in November on Jalama Beach in Santa Barbara County as a three-week-old pup, weighing less than seven pounds (3.2 kg). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service declared him to be non-releasable, and authorized the aquarium to raise him on exhibit.
He was admitted into the aquarium's veterinary intensive care unit, where he was well cared for. Now 13 weeks old and weighing 16 pounds (7.25 kg), Otter 649 is robust and healthy. He has a friend, too! His interactions with his otter companion, Gidget, will help the younger otter learn how to socialize with other exhibit animals.
Photo credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium
Easy to recognize with his smaller size and uniformly black, velvet-like fur, the young rescue will remain on exhibit as long as husbandry staff continue to see positive interactions with Gidget. Like the other Sea Otters on exhibit, Gidget is also a rescue who would not have been able to survive in the wild. The exhibit otters act as companions, mentors, and surrogate mothers for the aquarium's Sea Otter Research and Conservation program. Otter 649 is the first pup that Gidget has mentored.
Eventually, Otter 649 will be transferred to another aquarium accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. He will be named at his new home.
Otter 649 is the sixth pup to go on exhibit at Monterey Bay Aquarium. He is the 649th stranded otter to be brought into the aquarium's Sea Otter Research and Conservation program since 1984. Learn more about the aquarium's efforts to save this endangered species here.
A wild Sea Otter mom took her pup for a visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium! The pair spent the day hanging out in the aquarium's nearby Great Tide Pool, much to the excitement of visitors and staff.
Photo credits: Monterey Bay Aquarium
Sea Otters are an Endangered species found along the northern and eastern coasts of the North Pacific Ocean. They were hunted extensively for their warm, soft fur from the mid-1700s through the early 1900s. Now protected, they have rebounded well in some areas. They are considered a 'keystone' species in kelp forest habitats: Sea Otters eat and limit the numbers of sea urchins, which otherwise overgraze and extensively damage kelp forest ecosystems. Kelp forests are home to an amazing diversity of life, and serve as important 'nursery' habitats for young fish.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium monitors wild Sea Otter populations, conducts important research, and rehabilitates stranded Sea Otter pups for release in the wild. Learn more about their work in Sea Otter conservation here.
“We patiently waited for the eggs to develop as the dad Clownfish took great care of them,” said Raymond Direen, who cared for the brood with fellow aquarist Jenn Anstey. “The dad constantly used his pectoral fins to fan the eggs and keep them clean. After about two weeks, they separated from the father, and morphed into little baby Clownfish."
Here's a guide to finding all your favorite characters from "Finding Nemo" at Monterey Bay Aquarium, including these soon-to-be-displayed babies!
Originally posted on the Monterey Bay Aquarium Blog, we provide this intro to their story about an amazing improvised Cuttlefish incubation system:
How do you incubate Cuttlefish eggs behind the scenes in preparation for [Monterey Bay Aquarium's] forthcoming “Tentacles” special exhibition? You could, at a cost of hundreds of dollars, buy commercial incubators. But that would be too easy. Plus, Aquarist Bret Grasse figured he could create something just as good as the store-bought jobs.
For $2.50 and “a day in the life of one volunteer,” he makes a better bubbler out of soda bottles, plastic tubing and silicone glue. It looks like mad science, but it works. To date, he’s produced hundreds of baby cuttlefish for exhibit using the system.
For the first time, Monterey Bay Aquarium has welcomed Sailfin Sculpin babies! Hatched behind the scenes, the young fish can now be seen on exhibit. Notable for their conspicuous spiked dorsal fins, Sailfin Sculpin frequent tide pools along the Pacific Coast. Although common, they can be hard to spot, as their colors blend with the seaweeds and rocks.
After a full day of travel on December 20, this baby Loggerhead
Sea Turtle (Caretta caretta) touched
down in Monterey, California, around 10 p.m. Steve Vogel, the Monterey Bay
Aquarium’s Husbandry Curator who accompanied the little turtle on its journey, brought it immediately to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where it went straight into the water behind the scenes.
The next morning, Veterinarian Dr. Mike Murray examined
the hatchling. At just four months old, it weighs almost half a pound (0.22
kg), and its shell measures about 4.4 inches (11.2 cm) long and 3.4 inches (8.7
cm) across. The turtle passed the exam, but is being keep it behind the scenes until after Christmas to acclimate to a regular feeding routine.
Photo Credit: Monterey Bay Aquarium
This Loggerhead is one of nine on loan to various U.S. zoos and
aquariums from the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. They were late
hatchlings that didn’t make it to the water with their nest-mates. All of them
were rescued from nests on North Carolina beaches and will eventually be
returned to the wild. This little turtle will stay at the Monterey Bay Aquarium for as
long as two years before its return release back in North Carolina.
This new turtle will serve an important role during it’s stay, acting
as an ambassador for its species. The Aquarium will make it the focal point
of an exhibit that highlights the threats facing sea turtles and other ocean
animals from unsustainable fishing practices. In the wild, sea turtles often
die when they’re accidentally caught in fishing gear, primarily in trawls and
longlines. sea turtles around the world also face deadly threats from ocean
pollution – particularly plastic debris.
Since the turtle eventually will be released back into the wild, the aquarists will take a “hands-off” approach and not hand-feed it or spend more time with it than necessary, though they will continue to keep track of the hatchling’s weight through routine exams.
The Monterey Bay Aquarium animal care team and a nurturing weedy sea dragon dad have achieved a milestone reached by only four other aquariums in North America: the birth of a brood of sea dragon babies.
More than 80 of the inch-long fish – Australian relatives of the seahorse – began hatching on July 22. The father, who carried the eggs in a brood pouch under his tail, delivered the young, with the last eggs hatching on August 2.
The young are being raised behind the scenes for now, said Associate Curator of Fish and Invertebrates Jonelle Verdugo, who heads the seahorse husbandry team at the aquarium. If they survive and thrive, visitors may get to see them as part of a special exhibition. Others will be transferred to colleague institutions with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Verdugo said the papa weedy sea dragon remained on exhibit and was free to swim about as usual while he was giving birth. Each day, the young were moved behind the scenes as they hatched, and placed in smaller aquariums to receive closer attention from caregivers.