Kelp Forest Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet / January 10, 2021

Walk through a tunnel at the bottom of a 188,000 gallon tank, and gaze into the kelp as though you were walking along the ocean floor. In this nutrient-rich habitat, you’ll see many of the plants and animals you’d find off the Southern California coast, from leopard sharks and garibaldi, to bat rays and moray eels. The kelp forest’s structure creates many communities and supports a diverse range of species.

Exhibit Highlights:

  • Plunge into the ‘rainforest of the sea,’ complete with Leopard sharks, round stingrays, bay rays, California morays and Giant Sea Bass.
  • Discover the role the towering kelp plants play as a source of food and shelter; test for yourself how shape affects the ability of kelp blades to mix nutrients in the ocean.
  • Keep your eyes peeled to watch scavenging in action as live Kellet’s whelks (marine snails) and hermit crabs suck up dead fish.
  •  Learn why species interaction fosters biodiversity.

(*For a description of Kelp Forest plants and marine life, see fact sheets for Plants and Animals.)

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