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South Pacific Gallery

See the stunning animals from the South Pacific in this gallery of jewel tanks.

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In the South Pacific, the ocean is landscape and livelihood for millions of people. In the warm waters, coral builds amazing reefs where thousands of different kinds of animals live.

Look for anemones, mollusks, shrimp, sea stars, corals and colorful fish in the bright tanks of the South Pacific Gallery.

Is Color Frivolous or Functional?

Fish come in a multitude of patterns, shades and tints of color arranged in spots, stripes, patches and blotches. Many species can change color according to their surroundings, mood or stage of life.

Fish colors may seem extravagant and random, but color is quite functional. Color adaptations play an important role in social interactions, defense and predation.

Seahorses & Pipefish

This unusual group of fish are gallery favorites. Both seahorses and pipefish can use their tail to grip plants and each other.

If you look carefully, you might spot a "pregnant" male. Female seahorses lay eggs in a special pouch on the male's stomach. The males carry the eggs and give birth to tiny young, which are the size of eyelashes when they hatch. Each seahorse and pipefish has a coronet, or crown, on its head that is as unique as our fingerprints.