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Animals at the Ocean Pavilion

A white wave shape.


Goatfish. Bluespotted rays. Flamboyant cuttlefish. All fascinating as individual species. But totally incredible to view within ecosystems that function as bustling underwater cities. At the Ocean Pavilion, you’ll connect with these awe-inspiring species (to name just a few) and habitats most people wouldn’t otherwise experience without a passport, scuba certification and a wet suit! You’ll come away with a deeper understanding of how all waters and marine animals are connected—and why those connections matter.


Step into One Ocean Hall and find yourself immersed in digital stories and interactive displays that spotlight marine ecosystems around the world, from our own backyard in the Salish Sea to the Coral Triangle in the western Pacific. Powerful imagery projected across the floor and walls transports you into the homes and habitats of marine creatures large and small.

See coral spawn. Explore kelp forests and discover bioluminescent life in the ocean’s deepest recesses. Through engaging media and conversations with knowledgeable Aquarium staff, discover things about our one world ocean you never knew!

A rendering of the future One Ocean Hall at Ocean Pavilion. A map of the Salish Sea decorates the floor of the first level. The second level contains trees and circular habitats.


While visiting the Ocean Pavilion, you’ll come face to face with living creatures that will awe and inspire you.

Through an expansive window that arcs overhead, you’ll have a direct view into The Reef—the Ocean Pavilion’s largest habitat. Take some time to get up close and personal with a community that includes reef sharks, gliding rays and schooling fish. Here, the Indo-Pacific leopard sharks you meet will be part of a world-first program to breed and release baby sharks into their protected home waters and restore wild populations.

A rendering of the future The Reef exhibit at Ocean Pavilion. A floor-to-ceiling glass window showcases colorful coral, manta rays, sharks, and two divers.

Meander to The Archipelago, which will be visible from two levels of the Ocean Pavilion. Above the water line, find a near-shore, mangrove lagoon habitat, where the roots of live mangrove trees shelter small fish and rays. A window at the lower level of this habitat provides a view into the underside of a coral reef.

A rendering of the future Archipelago exhibit at Ocean Pavilion. The exhibit consists of a tall, rocky structure and a large mangrove tree creating a habitat for fish.

Take your time exploring At Home in the Ocean—a series of intimate habitats, where you can cozy up to clownfish, garden eels, lionfish, scorpionfish and more. In their own digs, these unique species will help you see the world through their perspective.

A rendering of the future At Home in the Ocean exhibit at Ocean Pavilion. Children admire numerous oblong habitats that showcase seagrass, coral, anemones, and fish.


The Aquarium’s new, state-of-the-art Animal Care Center brings together a team of multidisciplinary experts responsible for and deeply committed to animal care and rehabilitation. This village of aquarists, veterinarians, life support engineers and water quality scientists provide warm and welcoming care to all animals.

For animals who will live in the Ocean Pavilion, the Animal Care Center serves as their first stop to gently acclimate to their new environment, nurturing their nutritional, mental, environmental and social well-being.

Get to know the caretakers: stewards of and advocates for marine animals

Future Ocean Pavilion residents are already settling in at the Animal Care Center. Meet a few of the team members helping to care for them:

"We’re all connected via the waterways in our world. What we do here affects the other side of the ocean, and I think it’s important for Ocean Pavilion visitors to see the different animals they could be impacting with their decisions."

"We are setting these animals up for success so they will continue to thrive when they move into the Ocean Pavilion. Throughout the day, our team is prioritizing chemical, physical and microbiological monitoring of the water in our habitats."

"I’ve always been fascinated by fish and enjoyed working with them. This job is as much about providing daily care as it is monitoring their health and behavior. You have to get to know an animal well to understand what is and isn’t normal for that individual."


Website maintenance

Please note: Our ticketing and membership systems will be offline for approximately two hours starting at 9pm Pacific on Tuesday, February 20. During the maintenance window, online ticketing and membership will not be available.

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Two sea otters at the Seattle Aquarium floating on the water in their habitat, holding onto each other demonstrating a rafting behavior.

With your help, the Seattle Aquarium builds connections with our community to inspire conservation and curiosity for marine life. When you make an end-of-year gift by December 31, you'll be joining us in protecting our shared marine environment—now and for generations to come. Thank you!

An adult sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium looking upwards with its front paws resting on its front.

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Sea otter at the Seattle Aquarium laying on its back, raising its head and front paws.

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