Exhibits at the Woods Hole Science Aquarium
Our collection consists of approximately 140 species of fish and invertebrates found in New England and Mid-Atlantic waters, including tropical fish that ride the Gulf Stream into our waters every summer.
When you visit the Woods Hole Science Aquarium, there's plenty of exploring to do.
Some Animals You May See
- Cod, haddock, flounders, striped bass, and other animals important to commercial and recreational fishermen.
- Toadfish, horseshoe crabs, sea urchins, skates, and other animals important to biomedical researchers.
- Shells, bones, and baleen from endangered turtles and whales.
- Other animals with unusual colors, odd life histories (sea bass change gender), or striking appearances (toothy wolfish, lovely angelfish, and sea ravens with their bizarre beards).
Open Work Area
The work area behind the touch tank is open to the public. Aquarium visitors can talk to the staff as we prepare food, feed animals, and clean tanks. Come back with your questions and get ready to see some pretty unfamiliar delicacies!
The open work area includes a touch tank where visitors can gently touch marine animals. The touch tank usually contains labeled shells and a variety of living animals that don’t mind being touched gently with two fingers.
The Aquarium has display cases with bones, skulls, and teeth of sharks and other marine creatures. We also have non-living exhibits on:
- Whale protection.
- Marine turtles.
- The science of “ageing” fish.
- The New England marine environment.
Sounds of the Sea Interactive Exhibit
Focusing on ocean noise, marine mammal sounds, and the impacts of human activity, our Passive Acoustic Research Group's multimedia display allows you to listen and learn about the many noises produced in our oceans. Expose your ears to a new world of sounds beneath the ocean's surface!
Marine mammals, fish, and even some invertebrates produce sounds. Learn how they are used and how human activities have an impact on different marine species. While exploring different biological and man-made sounds, visitors can read information and scroll through pictures of each sound source. Listen to individual species, compare one sound to another, or record your own voice to compare to your favorite animal!
NOTE: We have no seals in residence at this time, and the habitat is closed for renovations.
Our only outdoor exhibit, the seal habitat includes an enclosed, 17,000 gallon pool that is the permanent home for seals that are unable to live in the wild. When seals are in residence, we usually feed them when we open in the morning and when we close in the afternoon. Feeding sessions are also training sessions during which we make sure the seals get enough exercise and we train them in behaviors that are important for their care. Most training sessions are open to the public.