The creatures in our aquarium inspire the scientist in all of us. At our invertebrate pool you can touch sea stars, sea urchins, hermit crabs, sea anemones and more. Our shark pool provides a close-up view of these fascinating and often misunderstood creatures, and provides you with the opportunity to touch a friendly swell shark! Other tanks house rockfish, eels, decorator crabs and jellies. Your visit will answer many questions and bring you closer to the creatures in the Monterey Bay.
Featured Exhibit: Spot Prawns
When most of us think of prawns and shrimp, we picture small pink crustaceans the size of a quarter to maybe the size of a silver dollar. The spot prawn, Pandalus platyceros, dwarfs this traditional shrimp, reaching a length of 10 inches – about the size of a dinner plate! The largest shrimp on the west coast of North America, the spot prawn is in fact a very popular menu item and also a tasty meal for rockfish and the giant octopus.
The spot prawn may live up to six years and begins its life as a male, mating at least once before becoming a female. As a female, the prawn mates again and produces between 1,400 and 5,000 eggs.
On your next visit, see if you can find the spots for which this prawn is named: look for four distinct white spots on the spot prawn’s red exoskeleton—two spots behind the head, and another two spots in front of the tail.