• The tidepools of Cabrillo National Monument

    Cabrillo

    National Monument California

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  • Lighthouse Will Be Closed for Seismic Retrofit April 7 through May 16

    The Lighthouse is undergoing a Seismic retrofit and will be closed from April 7 - May 16. Visitors can still access the Assistant Keepers Quarters exhibit from the south door, Lighthouse Comfort Station, and Kelp Forest Overlook. Call 619-557-5450.

  • Visitor Center Scheduled to be Closed May 19 through June 16

    The Visitor Center will be undergoing a Seismic Retrofit and will be closed. Visitors will still be able to access the Auditorium, Ballast View and the East Patio. These dates are subject to change. Please call 619 557-5450 for updated information

Fishes

OpalEye

Opaleye

Girella nigricans

-2 to 4 inches (only juveniles in the intertidal)

-up to 2 feet off shore, typically spend their juvenile stages in the intertidal

-white spot on both sides of its back near the dorsal fin

-olive green in color with opal blue-green eye color

 
WoolySculpin

Wooly Sculpin

Cilinocottus analis

-2-7 inches in length

-Bottom-living fish

-Swim erratically, dart away when disturbed

-Change color to match background

 
CaliforniaClingfish

California Clingfish

Gobiesox rhessodon

-2 inches

-flattened body that varies in color

-three lighter colored bands

-pelvic fins form suction disc to attach to rocks and algae

 
BlindGoby

Blind Goby

Typhlogobius californiensis

-2 to 3 inches

-lives in burrows created by the Ghost Shrimp

-eyes are covered by thick flesh

-scales are smooth with a pink, fleshy color

 
MorayEel

Moray Eel

muraenidae

Where to find them

Moray eels are some of the more elusive creatures lurking in our tide pools. They can grow to about 5 feet in length and are dark brown or green in color. They can live to be about 80 years old and spend most of their lives at a depth of 60 feet or less. There was one at the Birch Aquarium that was at least 80 when it died.

What Do They Eat

Moray eels eat mostly at night. Because of this, in order to find their prey, they must rely on their well developed sense of smell more than their eyes. They have three rows of razor sharp teeth that help with hunting their favorite treats of octopus, small fish, crabs, sea urchins and shrimp. While their teeth act as a great hunting tool, they don’t help much in the actual swallowing of their food.

Who Eats Them

While moray eels do not have many natural predators, they are hunted by barracudas and sea snakes. And, occasionally, moray eels will prey upon each other.

Did You Know?

Sunset

Did you know that Cabrillo National Monument is the most southwesterly spot in the contiguous United States?