There are thousands of reasons to visit the South Carolina Aquarium. We are home to over 4,500 animals! Get to know a few of our favorite residents and learn some fun facts about each below.
American Kestrel | Phoenix
Phoenix landed on a live electrical wire as a fledgling, losing a talon and a toe. She couldn’t be released back into the wild, so in 2009 she came to the Aquarium.
Spadefish have 4-6 vertical black bands on their bodies that fade with age.
Tripletail live at leisure, or so it seems. They’re often observed drifting in 84° waters, resembling clumps of leaves floating by.
Bald Eagle | Liberty
Surprising to many, Liberty only weighs 7 pounds.
Barn Owl | Pippen
Pippen was named after Scottie Pippen, #33 for the Chicago Bulls.
Barracuda can reach speeds of up to 27 mph attempting to catch prey with their razor-sharp teeth.
Brown pelicans were first spotted in the Charleston Harbor in 1789. They are the only pelicans in the world that are not white!
Caribbean Spiny Lobster
Spiny lobsters don’t have claws – they have 2 antennae for protection and 2 smaller antennules that sense changes in the water.
Chain dogfish like the cold and are cozy in 47°F water temperatures!
Octopus not only have eight arms, but they have 3 hearts. There’s a lot to love!
Cownose rays often travel in large schools. In some areas, up to 10,000 rays can be seen migrating together!
Back in 2009, 78 terrapins crossed the runway at John F. Kennedy Airport in search of nesting grounds, causing nearly two-hour flight delays!
Eastern Indigo Snake
Eastern indigo snakes are the longest snake native to the U.S., reaching lengths of over 8 feet.
Goliath Grouper | Mel
Goliath grouper can weigh up to 800 lbs. That’s almost as much as a smart car!
Gopher tortoises are known for their digging abilities. The burrows they create help shelter at least 360 other species.
Green Sea Turtle
Green sea turtles are world travelers – they nest on the beaches of over 80 countries!
Green Tree Frog
Green tree frogs use their color as a camouflage against predators. They only grow to about 2.5 inches in length!
The grey triggerfish is just one of 42 species in the triggerfish family.
Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle
Kemp’s ridleys are known to nest in mass events, called arribadas. At one point, 40,000 Kemp’s ridleys were caught on film!
Lionfish love to eat. Their stomachs can expand 30 times its normal size.
Northern Pintail | Penny
Don’t be fooled by their tiny body – northern pintails like Penny have 14,914 feathers, give or take a few!
In the wild, nurse sharks like to pile on top of each other to rest, sometimes in groups of 40 or more.
Porcupinefish teeth are fused together, appearing as 2 plates on the top and bottom of their mouth.
Sergeant majors have 5 distinct stripes plus an occasional 6th stripe on their tail. Because of these stripes, they are named for the sergeant major military rank.
Slipper lobsters are typically bottom dwellers, found at depths of up to 500 meters (1,600 feet).
Yellow Rat Snake
Yellow rat snakes are quite arboreal – some have been known to climb trees 60 feet high!