cephalopod (se-fə-lə-päd)

When we were in California, we visited the world-famous Monterey Bay Aquarium. Their special exhibit was Tentacles: The Astounding World of Octopuses, Squids and Cuttlefishes. The exhibit was all about cephalopods. You may ask yourself, what are cephalopods? Cephalopods are a group of marine molluscs that are related to snails and slugs. Octopuses, squids, cuttlefish, and nautili belong in this group. Cephalopods are equipped with breath-taking abilities that allow them to escape predators and, thus, survive. Octopuses in particular are notorious for their ability to disguise themselves; they can change their color and texture up to 20 times in 1 minute! Cephalopod comes from the Greek roots cephalo- meaning head and –pod meaning foot. Cephalopod literally means “head foot.” I think that the name “head foot” is appropriate since cephalopods look like their feet are attached to their head.

cetacea (si-ˈtā-shə)

During a recent trip to Monterey, California, I went on a whale watching excursion with my family. Before the boat even started moving, we saw seals sunning themselves nearby and cute sea otters swimming in the water. The Monterey Bay is a great place for whale watching because whales and dolphins can be seen year round. Dolphins and whales belong to a group of marine mammals called Cetacea. Cetacea contains the Greek root ceta– meaning whale. On our tour, we saw a megapod of long-beaked common dolphins skipping over the water agilely. It was amazing to see how swiftly they could swim! In the distance were immense humpback whales slapping the water forcefully with their tail fins. I was quite excited when I saw the whales breaching the water, creating large splashes. I hope you enjoy the pictures that we took during the whale watching trip!

I just got back from an exciting, week-long adventure in northern California with my family. We spent three days in Monterey and went whale watching, visited the Monterey Bay Aquarium and hunted eagerly for sea glass on the beach. During the last part of our trip, we drove to San Francisco. We walked across the Golden Gate Bridge, went to Chinatown, and saw Lombard Street, the “crookedest street” in the world. We ventured down to Ghirardelli Square, my favorite spot in all of San Francisco and enjoyed sundaes at one of the three Ghirardelli shops. One of those shops is the original chocolate shop opened by Domenico Ghirardelli in 1852. I loved the experience and I hope to go back to California soon. During my trip, I came across some interesting words that I can’t wait to write about! My next post will be coming up later this week.