The Aquarium has just completed a renovation that has renewed its main building to the core. Watch its transformation unfold with this timelapse video. Now the entire top of the Giant Ocean Tank is transformed with many new features and is called the Yawkey Coral Reef Center. It includes a new, seven tank exhibit gallery that has been added and offers a close-up look at animals that might not be easily seen or understood on the reef. This area puts a magnifying glass on some unique Caribbean environments, providing a closer look at their diversity and beauty.
The entire circumference of the top of the Giant Ocean Tank is enclosed by a glass railing that maximizes everyone’s view of many of the predators swimming high in the water column. Visitors can now easily recognize creatures resting on the tank’s bottom more than 24 feet below. That exceptional viewing is enhanced by a theatrical quality lighting system that is built into a beautiful, blue, reflective ceiling dome that helps to create a greater underwater ambience throughout the space. The new exhibit gallery on the same level showcases reef biodiversity and gives visitors a closer look at a hidden world filled with unique coral reef animals, like pipefish (above center) and the fascinating flying gunard (above right). Here are some more fascinating species to look for when you visit.
Garden eels cluster their individual burrows together in colonies, where they extend out into the passing current, gracefully bobbing while they feed on passing plankton.
Long-Spined Sea Urchin
These small invertebrates creep along corals, grazing on algae that can smother corals. Their presence helps keep corals strong and healthy. The population was nearly wiped out by a fungal infection 30 years ago, and is struggling to recover in the Caribbean.