Tropical Reef

Our Tropical Reef gallery features three exhibits that are located in the second original coal tunnel of the Powerhouse. One very interesting fish that is on display here is the oyster toadfish. The oyster toadfish is interesting, in part, because it doesn’t have any scales. Its flattened body is olive-brown and black with dark blotches, making it a pro at camouflage. This bottom dweller is primarily found around oyster reefs, and can actually tolerate littered and polluted water.


Also on display is the porkfish, which can eventually grow to be 15 inches long. Commonly found in the Atlantic ocean from Florida to Brazil, these nocturnal fish are often found in schools inhabiting shallow inshore waters.


Animal Spotlight: Striped Burrfish


Striped burrfish aren’t only adorable, they’re also pretty complex. They have an organ known as a buccal; this allows them to inflate their bodies considerably when threatened. They also have short, thick spines covering their entire body; combined with their ability to “inflate” and their iridescent blue-green pupils, their appearance can be pretty intimidating to predators.