Living Gallery

Strange and Unusual,
Beautiful and Deadly

A collection of delicate undersea life such as Pacific Giant Octopus, sea anemones, living corals, jellies and weedy sea dragons are featured as art in The Living Gallery.

Coral reefs are a vibrant underwater oasis which provides protection to all types of marine life. Some of the “plants” that flow back and forth in the currents are not plants at all, they are actually animals.

View many of these plant-like animals that depend on the sun for nutrition such as the giant clam, hammer corals, and brain corals to name a few.


The Weedy Sea Dragon is well known for its camouflage appearance, which is used for protection.

These fish are slow-moving and rely on their camouflage as protection against predation; they drift in the water and with the leaf-like appendages resemble the swaying seaweed of their habitat. They lack a prehensile tail that enables similar species to clasp and anchor themselves.

OCTOPUSSES have eight arms covered with suckers. They use these arms for locomotion, crawling from coral to coral, and for tasting, feeling and grasping.

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They open mason jars to get their food. There are about 200 species of octopuses ranging in size from less than an inch to over 20 feet across! Shy by nature, they pose little threat to humans. For defense, octopuses can move rapidly by jet propulsion and will emit a black ink-like substance to shield its escape.



Commonly called jellyfish, jellies are not fish, but cnidarians. Most jellies move about by jet propulsion.

Some have tentacles, and some, like Australia’s box jellies, are extremely venomous.

Jellies come in many sizes and shapes, but are more than 99% water no matter how big they are!


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Lionfish are known for their venomous fin rays, a feature that is uncommon among marine fish in the East Coast coral reefs. The potency of their venom makes them excellent predators and dangerous to fishermen and divers.

Giant Japanese Spider Crab

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The Japanese spider crab has the greatest leg span of any arthropod, reaching 12 feet from claw to claw. The body may grow to a size of 16 inches (carapace width) and the whole crab can weigh up to 41 pounds.

Scorpion Fish

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The scorpionfish is part of a family that includes many of the world’s most venomous species. As the name suggests, scorpionfish have a type of “sting” in the form of sharp spines coated with venomous mucus.