Video Collections

Caribbean Octopus Vulgaris Hatchlings



Shortly after being put on exhibit at the Academy, this Caribbean Octopus vulgaris took up residence inside a glass bottle, on full view for adoring fans. Just as quickly, it moved back under a rock and started denning, and laying eggs. While eggs being laid in captivity is generally an exciting event, this particular species, like many but not all octopus, stops eating after it lays eggs and dies soon after they hatch which tends to put a damper on the joyous occasion. The biologist responsible for their care, Richard Ross, caught the hatching of the eggs from start to finish on film, and describes it as a waterfall flowing upwards toward the water's surface. Now, Ross faces the difficult task of trying to support thousands of tiny hatchlings. This species is "small egged" meaning it produces large numbers of very small planktonic 'paralarvae' which are notoriously difficult to feed and raise. The adult female and hatchlings will be on display for as long as possible in the Staff Picks area of the aquarium.

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History of the Steinhart Aquarium
9/20/13, 4:03 pm

As we celebrate its 90th anniversary, we look back on the history of the Academy's Steinhart Aquarium. 

Collecting Corals
6/23/11, 5:32 pm

Steinhart Aquarium biologists are shown collecting small cuttings of coral fragments on the California Academy of Sciences 2011 Philippine Biodiversity Expedition. These fragments were legally exported from the Philippines and brought into cultivation as part of the Academy's efforts at sustainable collection-building. 

These small cuttings will be grown into larger colonies, which can then be fragmented to produce corals for display, in-house research projects and exchange with other zoos and aquaria. Exchanging captive-propagated corals is one way that we are able to reduce collection pressures on wild reefs.

5/18/11, 9:04 am

Lemondrop, a bright yellow 15 ft (4.4 m) male albino reticulated python, gets a physical exam before being introduced to his new home at the Academy. The snake lacks the dark pigment melanin necessary for normal coloration; lack of coloration can be a survival disadvantage because he won’t blend into the environment and is more likely to be spotted by predators. Lemondrop was born in captivity and hasn’t faced the perils of the jungle environment. Reticulated pythons are nonvenomous ambush hunters using both sight and smell to locate prey.

Sustainable Collecting
4/1/11, 4:05 pm

Aquarium biologists travel to Costa Rica to gather animals for Academy exhibits.

Northern California Coast Exhibit
3/21/11, 1:32 pm

Academy biologist Nick Yim provides a behind the scenes look into feeding the fish in the Northern California Coast exhibit in Steinhart Aquarium.