Visitors to the Monterey Bay Aquarium often ask, "Where are the whales in the aquarium?" We let them know how lucky we are to be right here on Monterey Bay, a hotspot for over 13 species of cetaceans -- whales and dolphins. At certain times of year they put on quite the show outside our windows.
This month is no exception. After entertaining the residents of Santa Cruz for a couple of weeks, humpback whales are now feeding off the beaches of Monterey and neighboring Seaside, Sand City and Marina. This weekend, without need for boat or binoculars, you could clearly witness the spectacle of feeding humpbacks as their huge mouths appeared without warning to engulf mouthfuls of schooling (and no doubt very surprised) fish!
It's a great way to end the humpback season and await the arrival of the gray whales on their southern migration later this month.
Meanwhile, in Hawaii humpback whales there have teamed up with some of their smaller cousins -- and who really knows what's going on. But it seems like the dolphins were having some fun: practicing some balancing skills, sliding down the whale rostrum. A regular jungle gym for dolphins, as fortuitously captured by photographer Lori Mazzuca!
Surely some of the smartest critters on the planet at work here and a pure delight for the humans who got to witness it!