Living Seashore Exhibit

Please Don't Touch the Animals

Living Seashore

Our most interactive exhibit yet, Living Seashore features two touchpools and a variety of hands-on experiences, giving you the opportunity to explore the ever-changing Mid-Atlantic shoreline.

The exhibit takes you beyond the boardwalk to the crashing waves, sandy beaches and shifting dunes of the beach you thought you knew. You’ll uncover the Mid-Atlantic shore’s myriad hidden treasures while developing a new understanding of the things you typically find in this unique habitat.


Along the edge of the touchpools, visitors join National Aquarium interpreters to gently graze their hand over the sleek, muscular wing of an Atlantic stingray; and feel the mysterious, firm bell of a pulsing moon jelly.

When you’re not getting your hands wet in Living Seashore, you’ll find yourself discovering shore secrets through digital touch-table games and more. You’ll learn about some of the beach’s hidden treasures, such as horseshoe crabs, sand dollars and egg cases on a tactile discovery wall that brings a "slice of the beach" to eye level. Make sure you stop by our Shore Hero Conservation Station on the way out to take a Shore Hero pledge and make a positive impact on our blue planet!

Living Seashore Quick Facts

  • Opening Date: May 12, 2015
  • Location: Level 3 of Blue Wonders (Pier 3 Pavilion)
  • Total Number of Animals: Approximately 150 animals
  • Total Number of Animal Species: Approximately 20 species
  • Number of Touchpools: Two (Living Seashore Touchpool and Jelly Touchpool)
  • Highlighted Touchpool Animals:
    • Clearnose skate (Raja eglanteria)
    • Atlantic stingray (Dasyatis sabina)
    • Horseshoe crab (Limulus polyphemus)
    • Knobbed whelk (Busycon carica)
    • Moon jelly (Aurelia aurita)
  •  

  • Habitat Design: Replicates the wondrous beaches and waters of the Mid-Atlantic seashore
  • Total Gallons of Water: 5,331 gallons of saltwater in the exhibit
  • Square Feet: 2,700 square feet of public exhibit
  • Key Experiences:
    • Animal touch encounters and one-on-one experiences with educational interpreters at two large touchpools
    • Explore mysterious objects washed up at the high tide line on interactive, digital multi-touch table
    • Tactile activities/interactive on the "slice of the beach" discovery wall promoting inquiry and discovery
    • Digital boardwalk-style binoculars showing videos of animals down the beach
    • Computer touchscreens to provide guests with more information on animals in the exhibit
    • “Shore Hero” stories and “Conservation Station” where guests can make a pledge to protect coastal habitats and animals

Animals in this Exhibit

  • Moon Jelly

    Moon jellies are translucent white with a saucer-shaped bell.

    Moon Jellyfish
  • Sea Stars

    There are nearly 2,000 species of sea stars in the world’s oceans.

    National Aquarium – Sea Stars
  • Spotfin Butterflyfish

    The black bar across this fish’s eye confuses predators.

    National Aquarium - Spotfin butterflyfish

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Featured Animals

Horseshoe

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