At the Edge of the Sea tidepool touch tank, local marine life is at your fingertips.

The water is cold. But visitors can’t resist the opportunity to learn about local tidepool animals through touch, sight, and sound—with helpful question-and-answer sessions with Aquarium educators.

Such was the case on a recent afternoon. The tidepools were teeming with familiar animals like horseshoe crabs, hermit crabs, mussels, scallops, anemones, sea stars, and urchins, as well as seaweed. Educators gently remind curious dabblers to treat animals gently and keep them submerged. With each underwater encounter, visitors are inspired to ask questions and the educators engage with answers and even more show and tell.

hands on ledge of edge of the sea exhibit q
A visitor poised to explore.
educator describing horseshoe crab
A question prompts an educator to use a biofact—a preserved shell, in this case—to teach about horseshoe crabs.
moon snail
A moon snail moved around in slow motion on its large, muscular foot.
periwinkle shell with hole from a moon snail
Ah, teaching opportunity! The educator produced a set of shells with nearly perfectly round holes that the moon snail drilled to feast on the critters inside.

Through each hands-on encounter, the Edge of the Sea tidepool touch tank brings the feel of the seashore a little closer to downtown Boston. Be sure to bring questions and be prepared to roll up your sleeves to explore our blue planet the next time you visit this Level 3 exhibit!