Education Gallery

Discovery Center

Come check out what it means to be a scientist! Observe plankton, learn about the food chain, and discover some of the aquarium’s smallest residents. 

Jewel tanks

See our animals in the spotlight with cool adaptive traits like our spotted rose anemone that has biofluorescence and our baby swell shark eggs that can camouflage as seaweed. The baby swell sharks are really cute when they hatch out too!

Pipefish Tank

The Pipefish tank is an example of a mudflat with eelgrass beds that act as a nursery for young fish and young sting rays. See if you can spot a pipefish in the eelgrass.

Octopus Tank

The octopus tank is an example of a deep water habitat brought to life for our guests to see. It features anemones and rock scallops on the reef which also add structure and microhabitats to the reef. The decorator crab uses the colonial strawberry anemones to help decorate its body to camouflage with the reef. There are small but colorful rockfish like the half-banded rockfish that stay close to the rocks and use them as shelter.

Kid’s Kelp Corner

Have you ever wondered oh why, oh why did my goldfish die? Come find the answer in the Kid’s Kelp Corner. You can also relax and read the many ocean related books in our library while watching our inquisitive freshwater fish.

Artificial Reef Tanks

The Artificial Reef tank is an examples of man-made structures left behind that now act as reefs teaming with life from sea anemones on rock scallops to sea stars to juvenile rockfish. Can you see the bright orange Garibaldi with blue spots?

Seahorse Tank

Seahorses are some of the most fragile sea creatures in the ocean, and they can camouflage to look like seaweed, eelgrass, or even sea fans. They use their tails to hold onto eelgrass and stay upright, but they won’t swim except in short bursts. They have excellent eyesight that they use to track their prey, which are small shrimps.

Animals in the Education Gallery

Other animals…Blue Banded Hermit Crab Pagurus samuelis , CA Scorpion Fish Scorpaena guttata

Round Ray

Round Ray

Urolophis halleri: Round sting rays are a common visitor to southern California beaches especially during the summer when the water warms up. They are known for having a sharp barb at the end of their tail that can pack a mean punch. Next time you go to the beach,...

Purple Sea Urchin

Purple Sea Urchin

Strongylocentrotus purpuratus: Sea urchins belong to a group of animals called Echinoderms, which means spiny skin. Makes sense, right? This group also includes sea stars, sea cucumbers, sand dollars, and brittle stars. While the sea urchins in southern California do...

Warty Sea Cucumber

Warty Sea Cucumber

Parastichopus parvimensis: The sea cucumber, which is a relative of the sea star and sea urchin, has the ability to regenerate parts of its body. When a sea cucumber feels threatened, it will “throw up” parts of its guts. The sea cucumber can escape and will...

Bat Star

Bat Star

Pitiria miniata: Bat stars are a species of sea star that are commonly found in Southern California tidepools! Just like other sea stars, the bat star has the ability to regenerate, or re-grow, limbs! It also eats by pushing its stomach out and digesting its food...

Moray Eel

Moray Eel

Gymnothorax mordax: Moray eels are the only “true eel” that you can find in southern California which means they do not have pelvic or pectoral fins. Moray eels are equipped with a set of very sharp teeth as well as a set of pharyngeal teeth in the throat that can...

California Spiny Lobster

California Spiny Lobster

Panulirus interruptus: When you look at the California spiny lobster, you may notice something missing: the claws! Unlike the east coast Maine lobster, the California spiny lobster does not have any claws. Instead it has lots of spines all over its body to protect...

Roundhouse Aquarium Exhibits

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