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New York City

The New York Aquarium

Like the history of the WCS, the New York Aquariums history is also a long and successful one. On December 10th, 1896, it opened its doors for the first time in lower Manhattan in what is now known as Battery Park, making it the oldest continually operating aquarium in the United States. On October 31st, 1902, the Aquarium was adopted into the care of what was then the New York Zoological Society. At the time, the Aquarium housed only 150 specimens of wildlife.

In 1941, the Aquarium at Battery Park was closed due to the proposed construction of a bridge from lower Manhattan to Brooklyn. The Aquariums inhabitants were temporarily housed at the Bronx Zoo until the new aquarium was built after WWII. On June 6th, 1957, the Aquarium opened its doors at its new location in Coney Island, Brooklyn.

Situated on 14 acres by the sea in Coney Island, the New York Aquarium is home to over 350 species of aquatic wildlife and over 8,000 specimens. The Aquarium continues its mission to raise public awareness about issues facing the ocean and its inhabitants with its special exhibits, public events and research. At the Aquariums Osborn Laboratories of Marine Sciences (OLMS), several studies are currently underway investigating such topics as dolphin cognition, satellite tagging of sharks, and coral reefs.

Seahorses (Opened April 20th, 2000):
A stampede of horses began greeting visitors to the New York Aquarium this spring. Seahorses, that is. Located in Sea Cliffs, this new exhibit features pygmy seahorses, pot-bellied seahorses, giant seahorses, pipefish and the dramatic leafy and weedy sea dragons. Find out why these amazing animals are nicknamed "Mr. Mom" and how they use camouflage to blend into their surroundings. See how they use a prehensile tail to stay in place and a suit of armor for protection.

Sea Cliffs:
How much does a walrus weigh? Do sea lions have ears? Could you survive in the ocean? Can you hold your breath as long as a seal? What does a California sea otter feel like? The answers to these questions and many more can be found in this exciting 300-foot recreation of a rocky Pacific coastal habitat. Sea Cliffs is home to walruses, sea otters, penguins and seals, all of which can be viewed above and below the water, along with many different species of fish, invertebrates and plant life.

Explore the Shore:
Experience the energy of electric fish , and walk through a salt marsh. Stay dry under crashing waves and touch sea stars, crabs and urchins. See the wonders of kelp beds, magnificent coral formations and hundreds of fish species. Hands-on exhibits and video displays delight all in this indoor education and exhibit center.

Aqua theater:
Marine mammal demonstrations are held daily in this 1600 seat stadium.

Beluga Whales:
Did you know Beluga means "white" in Russian? Called the "canaries of the sea," watch as our Beluga whales swim by the huge panoramic windows of their exhibit.

See eye-to-eye with 400-pound sand tiger sharks. Watch kite shaped stingrays "fly" through the water while ponderous nurse sharks patrol the floor of this 90,000-gallon exhibit. And, of course, the New York Aquarium is home to thousands of other beautiful and exotic fish.


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New York City

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