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Open Sea

Out to sea and on the go—life's in constant motion in the open ocean. Welcome to the Aquarium's largest exhibit, a place where tuna speed past, sardines swarm in huge, glittering schools, and sea turtles swim lazily across the 90-foot window. Nearby, colorful puffins await their next meal, and brilliant jellies pulse through the water.

Exhibit Highlights

You're watching video highlights of daily activity in this exhibit.

In this Exhibit

Scalloped hammerhead shark

With that wide, thick head shaped like a double-headed hammer, it's easy to identify a hammerhead shark. The shark's eyes and nostrils are located at the extreme ends of its head, which may give it added lift and let it make sharper turns than other sharks.

Green sea turtle

Sea turtles travel far, riding currents across the ocean. Females return to the same beach each year, using magnetic clues as a map, and lay close to 100 eggs each. She then buries them under a sandy blanket and returns to the sea.

Tufted puffin

Its bright colors have earned the tufted puffin the nickname, "parrot of the sea," but this beautiful bird is at home on land as well. In early spring, its beak and feet turn a vibrant orange in preparation for breeding season.

Ocean sunfish

Ocean sunfish, or molas, look like the invention of a mad scientist. Huge and flat, these silvery-gray fish have tiny mouths and big eyes that vanish into an even bigger body with a truncated tail. They can weigh up to 5,000 pounds!

Pelagic stingray

Unlike other rays, which spend most of their time buried on the sandy seafloor, pelagic stingrays spend their time in open waters. They are distinguished by their diamond-shaped bodies with rounded snouts and streamlined eyes that don't protrude from their bodies. Pelagic rays are dark purplish above and purplish to gray underneath. This coloration makes the rays harder for predators to see from above, as their dark backs blend with dark waters below, making these rays almost "disappear". from view.

More Open Sea Animals

Cool Facts

  • Puffins know how to pack: they often carry 10 fish in their mouths, but have been known to hold more than 60!
  • Anchovies frequently seem to be "yawning"—that's how you know it's mealtime. They're opening wide, straining tiny plant and animal plankton from the water.
  • Ocean sunfish hatch from tiny eggs but grow to weigh more than a pickup truck, increasing in size 60 million times along the way. Topping out around 5,000 pounds, molas are the world's heaviest bony fish.
  • Sea turtles rid themselves of excess salt through a salt gland near each eye, making them appear to be crying.

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