Journey from the shorelines to the depths of the Ocean and experience coastal and marine habitats from around the world. Here is just a sample.


This term covers a large and varied group of aquatic animals with fins and gills. There are tens of thousands of fish species found in bodies of salt and fresh water around the world. We have hundreds of species represented right here! Come see the amazing variety of sizes, shapes, and colors.

Green Moray Eel

Can you spot Pickles, our green moray eel, hiding in the Norfolk Canyon Shipwreck?


Also known as a porcupine puffer, when threatened this fish has a unique way of scaring off predators.

Spotted Eagle Ray

Although considered shy, these rays are commonly observed leaping out of the water.

Zebra Shark

Docile and slow-moving, Mena, can often be found resting on the floor of the Red Sea Aquarium.


This class of vertebrate animals is characterized by having dry skin covered with scales or horny plates and breathing with lungs. This grouping includes snakes, lizards, crocodilians, and turtles.

Komodo Dragon

Teman and Sanchez represent the largest and heaviest of all lizards on earth. Look for them in Restless Planet.


Tomistoma like Ralf and Sommer are threatened with extinction due to habitat loss and hunting.

Green Turtle

Can you find Greenie in the Light Tower Aquarium? Hint: Don't be fooled by the sea turtle's name.

Malaysian Painted Terrapin

Visit the Restless Planet and see if you can find Bau, our resident Malaysian Terrapin.

Macklot's python

Mack, a nonvenomous constrictor, can be found in the Restless Planet. Look carefully as he might be hiding.

Egyptian Cobra

One of the most venomous in the world, the Egyptian cobra is recognized by its hood-shaped neck that expands when threatened.


This class of cold-blooded vertebrates comprises frogs, toads, newts, and salamanders. They are distinguished by their life cycle, having a larval aquatic gill-breathing stage followed (typically) by an adult terrestrial lung-breathing stage. Amphibians can be found in a wide variety of habitats, with most species living in forested or freshwater aquatic ecosystems.

Hellbender Salamander

This amphibian is also colorfully known as snot otter, lasagna lizard, mud-devil, and Alleghany alligator.

Poison Dart Frog

The very small amount of poison this frog possesses is enough to make a human heart stop beating.


This class of vertebrate animals is characterized by having fur or hair and mammary glands, used for milk production and for feeding their young, and almost all mammals have live births. In addition to our seals and otters, be on the lookout for some of our special mammal Animal Ambassadors.

North American River Otter

Visit our playful river otters and enjoy their underwater acrobats when the new South Building opens.

Harbor Seal

Be sure to visit our friendly seals just outside the Aquarium Main Building entrance and enjoy watching one of their regular training sessions.


Invertebrates include an immense and varied group of animals, but they all lack a vertebral column (backbone). Some have a protective and supportive shell or exo-skeleton. Shells might be bi-valve or coiled, developed naturally or scavenged. From jellies and crabs to all of our shelled animals, see how many invertebrates you can find!

Atlantic Purple Sea Urchin

Sea urchins are covered with long spines that effectively deter enemies and use their tube feet to “walk” on hard surfaces and along the ocean floor.

Knobbed Whelk

A very large predatory sea snail, this species is eaten by humans in salads, burgers, fritters, and chowders.


Birds? At an aquarium? Actually, not only are there many species of marine birds like pelicans, penguins, and seagulls, there are many species of birds that call the shorelines and estuaries of the Chesapeake Bay home. Birds are warm-blooded vertebrates that have feathers and toothless beaked jaws.

American Crow

You have to meet Russel, our resident American crow in the Upland River Room. She is very social.


Romeo is our redhead who you can visit in the Upland River Room. Can you guess why this duck is called a redhead?