entrance to Birch Aquarium at Scripps, La Jolla

Birch Aquarium at Scripps 2300 Expedition Way, La Jolla, CA 92037

whale tail sculpture



The entry to the Birch Aquarium greets you with two whales leaping out of a fountain, and another in mid-dive, tail still dripping water.
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The new aquarium is designed around a central lobby with entrances to the three main interpretive areas: (1) the Hall of Fishes with over 60 tanks, the largest being 70,000 gallons, (2) the Hall of Oceanography, to our knowledge the largest display on oceanographic sciences in the country, and (3) an outdoor plaza with a demonstration tide pool and discovery station. In keeping with the aquarium's historic commitment to science education, two seawater-equipped classrooms adjoin the public display areas.

Four times the size of its predecessor, the Birch Aquarium is a physical reflection of the aquarium's expanded mission. The hilltop site provides a spectacular overview of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography museum offer a window on global research projects being conducted in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography laboratories and at sea with the Scripps fleet. The aquarium displays, now expanded to include a gallery on tropical marine habitats, interpret local organisms in the context of the Pacific at large. The aquarium's 13,000-gallon shark reef exhibit in the Robert Smargon courtyard is a highlight of the Birch Aquarium. This tank, accompanied by interpretive panels on shark biology and conservation, displays shark species that inhabit tropical reef habitats including white tip and black tip reef sharks and wobbegongs. "Secrets of the Seahorse" the Birch Aquarium's new 2,000-square foot interactive exhibition allows visitors an up-close look at these intriguing animals. Guests can explore the unique adaptations and biology of seahorses and their relatives, while learning about the current threats to their survival, and what can be done to conserve this diminishing creature.