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Kelp Forest

Be mesmerized by the hypnotic kelp forest, where almost 420,000 litres of water ebb and flow as a wave maker simulates the surge conditions of British Columbia’s shoreline.

What Will You Discover?

Growing tall from the ocean floor, kelp forests are found along the cold and clear Pacific coast. They provide food and shelter for a wide variety of ocean dwellers, which can be spotted in this beautiful two-story exhibit.

White-spotted Rose Anemone White-spotted Rose Anemone

White-spotted Rose Anemone

The white spotted rose anemone is often found on rocks and pilings, favoring exposed habitats with fast moving water. Anemones use stinging cells in their tentacles, called nematocysts, to capture prey which will then be engulfed by the central mouth.


Up to 6 inches


Crustaceans, mollusks, fish


North Atlantic Ocean, possibly northeast Pacific Ocean but may be distinct species

Did You Know?

A growing number of anemone larvae in this region are chimeric. This is where two embryos have fused to form one individual larvae. Scientists think that these fused offspring might be better able to defend themselves or grow faster. The extra genes may help them cope with changing environments.

Purple Sea Urchin Purple Sea Urchin

Purple Sea Urchin

Purple sea urchins can sometimes be found in large groups, especially around the bases of giant kelp. They eat through the stems of the kelp, which can be devastating to both the forest and the species that rely it as a home.




Up to 4 inches


Eastern Pacific Ocean

Did You Know?

Located on the underside of their body, or test, an urchin's mouth consists of a strong jaw apparatus called Aristotle's lantern, consisting of five bony teeth that are instrumental in scraping algae off the substrate.

Bat Star Bat Star

Bat Star

Typically found on rocks, sand bottoms, and among surf grass, bat stars come in a wide variety of colors, either mottled or solid. They can also be found with five to nine arms, with the center disk of the animal being much wider than the stubby arms are in length.


Up to 8 inches


Eastern Pacific


Scavenger, eats a variety or either slow moving or dead plants and animals

Did You Know?

Bat stars have eyespots at the end of each arm that can detect light and use sensors on its tube feet to sense prey.

Common Rock Barnacle Common Rock Barnacle

Common Rock Barnacle

Common rock barnacles live in the intertidal zone and, therefore, need to be able to survive long periods outside of the water. The shell can be closed tightly to prevent it from drying out. When the tide is up, barnacles filter feed plankton and other particles from the water by extending their modified legs into the water column like a net.


Plankton, detritus


Up to .6 inches in diameter


Northern Atlantic and Pacific Oceans

Did You Know?

Barnacles are actually crustaceans, closely related to crabs and shrimp. After a short phase spent as planktonic larvae, barnacles settle, attach to a hard substrate, and never move again.

What's Inside

Exhibits Nearby

Canadian Waters

Embark on a coast-to-coast journey through freshwater wilds, local fisheries, and kelp forests, meeting more than 80 aquatic species, like sturgeon and the giant Pacific octopus, along the way!

Swirling Pinstripe backdrop

Woah! The Aquarium sounds like alotl fun! But what are you doing all the way down here with the axolotls – some of the most secretive salamanders in the world?!

Did you know out of more than 800 salamander species that exist, only about 22 can be found in Canada?