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Pacific Discovery Tank
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Pacific Discovery Tank

Now Open!

Marcus Winchester © Canadian Museum of Nature

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Celebrate the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development with us and discover the wonder of tide pools.

Tide pools are puddles of sea water along rocky shores. In the museum's Water Gallery, you can meet some of the fascinating creatures that live in this unique ecosystem.

At our new tide-pool tank, you'll encounter live sea stars, sea cucumbers, tentacled anemones and spiky urchins.

Programming at the Discovery Tank

At scheduled times, Museum science interpreters will show and talk about the animals in the tank. Visitors who wish to participate will be asked to wear masks (age 2+).

Summer hours (July 2 – September 5)

Daily: 10 am – 3:30 pm

Thursday: 10 am – 6:30 pm

More about tide pools

Discover how tide-pool creatures are adapted to tough living conditions in this video with our expert, Amanda Savoie, Ph.D.

Thank you to Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for their generous support.

We are also grateful for the contributions of our partners: Environment and Climate Change Canada, Oceans Network Canada and the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council.

A California sea cucumber.

This is a California sea cucumber and is part of a larger animal group called echinoderms. It has small tentacle-like tube feet used for locomotion and feeding.

A giant acorn barnacle.

At a maximum diameter of 15 cm, the giant acorn barnacle is the largest barnacle species in North America, and possibly in the world.

A grunt sculpin.

The grunt sculpin (Rhamphocottus richardsonii) is a small fish that is often found in empty giant barnacle shells.

A hermit crab.

To protect its soft, vulnerable abdomen from predators, the hermit crab finds an empty seashell which it carries, and into which it can retreat.