Steinhart Aquarium, the Living Collection, is home to 38,000 live animals from around the world, representing more than 900 separate species. Come nose-to-beak with an African penguin, watch sharks and stingrays cruise beneath your feet, check out the set of teeth on a piranha, and learn about the critical, life-sustaining role that water plays on Earth.
Visit the Steinhart Aquarium and you’ll never think of the birds and the bees the same way again. Animal Attraction explores some of the wildest courtship and mating strategies in the animal kingdom. In eighteen beautiful tanks, the exhibit will explore the concept that nothing in life is more important than reproductive success.
At a depth of 25 feet and holding 212,000 gallons of water, the Philippine Coral Reef is one of the deepest exhibits of live corals in the world. It houses a broad range of aquatic life from the coral reefs and mangroves of the Philippines, one of the most diverse reef systems in the world. These animals include delicate soft and hard corals, blacktip reef sharks, stingrays, and more than 2,000 colorful reef fish.
Northern California Coast Gallery
The 100,000-gallon Northern California Coast tank replicates the habitats of the Gulf of the Farallones National Marine Sanctuary. A walkway along the surface allows visitors to smell the seawater and witness the filling and draining of tidepools as waves spill onto a small beach. A large, L-shaped underwater window reveals the eels, anemones, sea stars, rockfish, herring, sardines, and urchins that live beneath the water's surface.
Nearby tanks feature a giant sea bass and a giant Pacific octopus. There's also Discovery Tidepool where visitors can touch and examine a wide variety of ocean creatures.
The Water Planet exhibit is designed to be infinitely flexible. Dozens of tanks, from five to 5,000 gallons in size, contain an ever-changing variety of fish, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and other invertebrates.
The Academy Rainforest is teeming with live animals — including free-flying birds and butterflies, exotic reptiles and amphibians, and a cave with bats. Climb through the layers of the rainforest and descend into a 100,000 gallon “Flooded Forest” tank, where freshwater fish cruise overhead.
Tusher African Hall
Chameleons, cichlids, a monitor lizard and penguins bring African Hall to life. Our most famous residents here are the colony of 20 African penguins. Their home is modeled after Boulders Beach in South Africa, a location where these penguins are found in the wild. Watch them via our live Penguin Cams and read scientific insight and color commentary on the biologists’ blog.
A returning favorite from the original Steinhart Aquarium, the Swamp contains Claude, an albino American alligator and several alligator snapping turtles. Visitors can view the animals from the surface as well as from an underwater window. A tank of fearsome alligator gars, which look like alligators but are actually fish, faces the Swamp. Don’t miss our venomous animals like the black widow spider or the eastern diamondback snake!
The Academy has a long history of conducting scientific research and community outreach in the Philippines, and we are deeply saddened by the devastation that Typhoon Haiyan has wrought. If you would like to join us in supporting those affected by the storm, please consider making a donation to one of the following organizations:
Have an animal to donate to Steinhart Aquarium? Please fill out our online animal donation form here.
Between April 26 and June 10, 2011, Academy botanists, entomologists and marine biologists, will explore shallow-water reefs, the deep sea, and terrestrial and freshwater areas in the Philippines. Follow the expedition’s discoveries and explorations.