Our planet is alive & ever-changing with geologic activity!

Restless Planet

In this gallery, you will find amazing animals from Southeast Asia and Africa, the Red Sea, and regions around the Mediterranean Sea - all without even leaving Hampton Roads.

Volcanic activity and other catastrophic geological events have been reshaping this planet for eons. In the prehistoric past, Virginia experienced a series of dramatic environmental changes as well. While we cannot go back in time, we can find other places on the planet that have environments that are similar to what Virginia's was many, many years ago. This gallery features animals and habitats from such regions around the globe, most quite far from our shores.

Featured Animals

Komodo Dragon
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These giant reptiles are the largest and heaviest of all lizards on earth and descendants of what is thought to be the largest venomous animal to have ever existed.

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The Tomistoma, also known as a false gharial because of its slender snout resembling that of the Indian gharial (Gavialis gangeticus), is an unusual crocodilian species.


Red Sea Tunnel

The Red Sea, the most northern tropical sea in the world, is a seawater inlet of the Indian Ocean, lying between Africa and Asia. Covering an area of 169,100 square miles, it is 9,970 feet at its deepest point and is home to around 1,000 species of fish and 150 species of coral.

Experience our Red Sea Aquarium below the surface as you journey through our tunnel with a kaleidoscope of fish swimming all around you.

Featured Animals - Red Sea Aquarium

Spotted Eagle Ray
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Spotted eagle rays are one of the largest eagle ray species, and members have been sighted soaring out of the water, even to heights of 6 feet!

Zebra Shark
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Zebra sharks are a docile and slow-moving species, not dangerous to humans, and can be easily approached underwater.


Med Sea RP

Taking a closer look at the individual habitats of some of our residents allows you to see the details in nature that we sometimes miss. It also provides an opportunity to see an animal up close that might be more difficult to spot in a larger exhibit.

Featured Animals - Highlight Exhibits

Malaysian Painted River Terrapin
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The mysterious Malaysian painted river terrapin is considered to be one of the most endangered freshwater turtles.

Egyptian Cobra
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One of the largest cobras on the African continent and one of the most venomous in the world, its bites are often fatal.

Mackolot's Python
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This gorgeous constrictor species was only discovered a few decades ago but has already gained popularity in the pet markets.

Poison Dart Frog
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The poison dart frog is an incredibly bright-colored tiny little animal that has the potential to pack a big punch.