A Monterey Bay Aquarium Scientist Gives Fun Facts About Cephalopods

16:36 minutes

Cephalopod Week logo
It’s the most wonderful time of the year! No, not the holidays—it’s Cephalopod Week, and SciFri uses any excuse to celebrate the mysterious squid, the charismatic octopus and the cute cuttlefish.

If anyone matches SciFri’s enthusiasm for marine invertebrates, it’s the folks at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Guest host Sophie Bushwick talks to Christina Biggs, senior aquarist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California. Biggs spills behind-the-scenes details about everything from raising cephalopods from eggs to how their dietary preferences can resemble those of picky toddlers. 

“She’ll come right over to grab food,” Biggs says of one of the aquarium’s Giant Pacific Octopuses. “And on Sardine Sundays, she just tosses it right over her head and just waits for something better.”

Can’t Get Enough Of Cephalopod Week? It’s still not too late to cephalo-brate!

Science Diction Explores Cephalopod Names

Listen to the latest episode of SciFri’s Science Diction podcast, where host Johanna Mayer is quizzed by SciFri staff cephalopod enthusiasts about the origins and stories behind names of our favorite marine dwellers.  

SciFri Rewind Untangles A Deep Sea Squid Mystery

Have you heard of the bigfin squid? Its elbowed, spindly appendages have long stunned the public. But scientists say there is more to this deep sea dweller than its ghostly appearance. In the latest SciFri Rewind, where we dive into our archives, we revisit a 2001 interview with cephalopod curator Mike Vecchione when he first told us about this “mystery squid” in the deep.

a light pink squid with a small large set of fins swimming in near the seafloor with its long 10 appendages flowing behind it
A bigfin squid spotted in the Gulf of Mexico by NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program during a 2012 expedition. Initially, one of the scientists thinks it’s a jellyfish. Credit: NOAA Okeanos Explorer Program/CC BY 2.0

Plunge Into Our Squiddy TikToks

From the dazzling camouflage of the flamboyant cuttlefish to the squishy dumbo octopus, watch our fun cephalopod-themed videos on TikTok!

@scifriThey almost called this species “adorabilis” ##octopus ##cephalopodweek ##mbari ##deepsea ##science ##wow ##cute ##adorable ##squishy♬ I shall call him squishy – chl0e

Missed Our Virtual Cephalopod Adventures? Catch ‘Em Here!

This year, we had a wave of online events! We had our minds blown with cephalopod facts during our special cephalopod edition of SciFri Trivia Night. And we gathered with some of the squiddiest humans and experts we know for a spectacular Cephalopod Movie Night. Watch (or re-watch!) our Movie Night below, and mark your calendars for our next weekly SciFri Trivia!

Join Science Friday’s Sea Of Support

With every donation of $8 (for every day of Cephalopod Week), you can sponsor a different illustrated cephalopod. The cephalopod badge along with your first name and city will be a part of our Sea of Support!


Segment Guests

Christina Biggs

Christina Biggs is senior aquarist at Monterey Bay Aquarium in Monterey, California.

Segment Transcript

The transcript for this segment is being processed. It will be posted within one week after the episode airs.

Meet the Producers and Host

About Kathleen Davis

Kathleen Davis is a producer at Science Friday, which means she spends the week brainstorming, researching, and writing, typically in that order. She’s a big fan of stories related to strange animal facts and dystopian technology.

About Sophie Bushwick

Sophie Bushwick is technology editor at Scientific American in New York, New York. Previously, she was a senior editor at Popular Science.

Explore More

Untangling The Long-Armed Mystery Of The Bigfin Squid

The elbowed, spindly appendages of the bigfin squid have long stunned the public. But scientists say there is more to this deep-sea dweller than its ghostly appearance.

Read More

Crown 2021’s Cephalopod Of The Year For #CephalopodWeek

From June 18-25, we're celebrating the 8th Annual Cephalopod Week by awarding one lucky, many-armed invertebrate the award of a lifetime.

Read More