Color of Life exhibit to debut at California Academy of Sciences

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- A dramatic new exhibit called Color of Life opens at the California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park on Friday.

The exhibit featuring a crazy combination of cool creatures and high tech has been a year in the making. "It's a lot of work, but it's all coming together and it's looking beautiful," Scott Moran said.

Guests will see anything from insects that look like leaves to fabulous finches.

All the exhibits show how color is used in the natural world. "It can be used to communicate the desire to mate, to hide within an environment, to warn something that I am poisonous, stay away from me," Moran said.

One of the stars is a Hawaiian day octopus which looks dark brown one minute and almost white a few seconds later. Then, she creates a pattern across her entire body.

In the wild they are amazing quick change artists that can be almost impossible to find. "This is one of those octopuses that really makes you fall in love with the animal," Rich Ross said.

At feeding time she gets a shrimp inside a jar and she unscrews the lid underneath her body. "So their suckers run up and down the entire length of their arm. So once they've got something covered up they can do a whole lot of manipulation," Ross said.

When it's time to move the octopus into her new home, the team has to get her into a bucket. "The tricky part about this kind of octopus is that they need interaction," Ross said.

She is finally placed in a tub ready for a trek across the museum to her new home.

Spectacular tree pythons are also moving into the new exhibit area. They are bright yellow now, but will slowly turn green to help them hunt in tree tops.

Staff members are currently working to put the finishing touches on some state of the art technology. "You actually pluck strings and then the colors coalesce to display an animal that is featuring those colors," Ross said.

Another exhibit features stunning close up views of insects like a rainbow milkweed locust, one of the many spectacular specimens waiting to dazzle guests on Friday.

Written and produced by Jennifer Olney
Copyright © 2022 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.