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Animal Guide

Marine Mammals

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Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin

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North American River Otter

North American River Otter

Crocodilian

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American Crocodile

American Crocodile

Males are typically 14 feet, but can grow up to 20 feet. Females can reach up to 12 feet in length.

Crocodiles swallow stones to help aid in digestion and buoyancy.
 

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American Alligator

American Alligator

The American alligator is Mississippi's state reptile and the largest reptile in the United States.

They have 80 teeth that get replaced several times throughout their lifetime.

Alligators stop feeding when the ambient temperature drops below 70°F, and become dormant below 55°F.
 

Freshwater River

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Shovelnose Sturgeon

Shovelnose Sturgeon

Shovelnose sturgeon are the smallest species found in North America, rarely exceed 5 feet in length.

They feed on insects and invertebrates using barbels to locate their food.
 

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Spotted Gar

Spotted Gar

These fish date back to the Cretaceous period, some 65 to 100 million years ago.

They can grow up to 3 feet in length and have a lifespan of up to 18 years.

Their swim bladder allows them to live in poorly oxygenated waters.
 

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Bluegill Sunfish

Bluegill Sunfish

Bluegill Sunfish can grow up to 9 inches long and are named for their blue-colored throat and gill cover, and a distinctive black spot on their dorsal fin.

They feed on aquatic insects, zooplankton, and crustaceans.

 

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Channel Catfish

Channel Catfish

Channel catfish have smooth, scaleless skin and can live in fresh, brackish or saltwater.

They can range in length from 22-52 inches and live up to 24 years.
 

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Alligator Gar

Alligator Gar

Alligator gar are the largest of the gar species, growing up to 10 feet long!

They have an average life span is 35 years and have a lifespan of 50 years.

They can eat prey up to 25% of their body's length.
 

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Paddlefish

Paddlefish

Paddlefish can grow up to 7 feet in length and weigh up to 160 pounds.

They're filter feeders and use their gill rakes to capture food.

Their diet consists of small insects, crustaceans, and plankton.
 

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Alligator Snapping Turtle

Alligator Snapping Turtle

Alligator snapping turtles are the largest species of freshwater turtle, weighing upwards of up to 175 pounds.

They have a worm-like appendage on their tongue to help lure prey within striking range.
 

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Lake Sturgeon

Lake Sturgeon

Lake sturgeon have a distinct shark-like tail and rows of armored plates called "scutes" for protection.

They can measure up to 6.5 feet long and weigh close to 200 pounds.

Males may reach 55 years, while females have been recorded living over 150 years.
 

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Large Mouth Bass

Large Mouth Bass

Large mouth bass are the state fish of Mississippi.

The heaviest reported weight for a large mouth bass is 22 pounds.

They normally do not feed during spawning or when the water temperature drops below 41°F.
 

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Smallmouth Buffalo

Smallmouth Buffalo

Smallmouth buffalo are native to the surrounding waters of the Mississippi River.

 

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Gulf Coast Softshell Turtle

Gulf Coast Softshell Turtle

Gulf Coast softshell turtles inhabit various freshwater sources such as rivers, lakes, marshes, and farm ponds.

They spend most of their day basking in the sun and foraging for food, preying on mostly invertebrates and aquatic insects.

 

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Yellow Perch

Yellow Perch

Yellow perch are found in ponds, lakes and slow-flowing rivers. Mostly found in clear water near vegetation.

They consume a wide variety of invertebrates and small fish species.
 

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White Crappie

White Crappie

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Blue Catfish

Blue Catfish

Blue catfish are the largest species of North American catfish.

They are opportunistic predators who feed on crawfish, freshwater mussels, frogs and other readily available food sources.
 

Touch Tank

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Horseshoe Crab

Horseshoe Crab

Horseshoe crabs are a marine arthropod, closely related to spiders and ticks, found along the Atlantic coast.

They have a total of TEN eyes used for finding mates and sensing light.

Females lay 90,000 eggs per year in different egg clusters.
 

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Atlantic Stingray

Atlantic Stingray

Atlantic stingrays can survive in brackish or freshwater and can be found in lakes, rivers, and estuaries.

They can grow to around 12 to 14 inches wide.
 

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Yellow Stingray

Yellow Stingray

Yellow stingrays are small species of round rays that only grow to 26 inches long and 14 inches in diameter.

They can be found in a variety of colors and patterns of markings to help them camouflage in their environment.
 

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Epaulette Shark

Epaulette Shark

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Coral Cat Shark

Coral Cat Shark

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White Spotted Bamboo Shark

White Spotted Bamboo Shark

Swirl Habitat

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Honeycomb Cowfish

Honeycomb Cowfish

Honeycomb cowfish have a unique pattern that helps them blend into coral reefs.

They feed on soft corals, shrimps, sponges and tunicates.

They're found in the western Atlantic, Caribbean, and Brazilian waters.
 

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Longspine Porcupinefish

Longspine Porcupinefish

Longspine porcupinefish are a slow-moving fish with small fins for navigating shallow reefs or sea grass beds.

Their internal organs contain a neurotoxin that is at least 1,200 times more potent that cyanide.
 

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Scrawled Cowfish

Scrawled Cowfish

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Blue Angelfish

Blue Angelfish

Blue angelfish juveniles sometimes act as cleaner fish, picking off parasites from other fish.

Their diet consists mostly of sponges.

A female can release anywhere from 25 to 75 thousand eggs each evening, and as many as 10 million during spawning season.
 

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Bluehead Wrasse

Bluehead Wrasse

Bluehead wrasse are found in the Western Atlantic ocean.

All bluehead wrasse hatch as females, with only a small percentage becoming "terminal males" - developing the blue head and green body.
 

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Queen Angelfish

Queen Angelfish

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Reef Butterflyfish

Reef Butterflyfish

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Spanish Hogfish

Spanish Hogfish

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Foureye Butterflyfish

Foureye Butterflyfish

Four eye butterflyfish rely on corals for habitat and food.

They have a false "eye" that confuses predators and makes the fish appear larger than they truly are.

They are a diurnal species that seek shelter at night to protect themselves from nocturnal predators.
 

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Cuban Hogfish

Cuban Hogfish

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Blue Tang

Blue Tang

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Creole Wrasse

Creole Wrasse

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False Pilchard

False Pilchard

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Rockhind Grouper

Rockhind Grouper

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Yellowheaded Wrasse

Yellowheaded Wrasse

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Slippery Dick Wrasse

Slippery Dick Wrasse

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Round Scad

Round Scad

Oceans Habitat

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Green Sea Turtle

Green Sea Turtle

Green sea turtles are the only sea turtle that is strictly herbivorous in adulthood.

Their lifespan is unknown, but estimated to be over 80 years old.

They nest in over 80 countries.
 

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American Cownose Ray

American Cownose Ray

Cownose rays are a highly migratory schooling species along the Atlantic coast.

These rays have a wingspan of up to three feet and weigh up to 50 pounds.

They use their powerful dental plates to crush the shells of mollusks and invertebrates open.
 

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Green Moray

Green Moray

Green moray eels have poor eyesight and rely heavily on their sense of taste and smell to locate food.

Their skin is actually a grey-brown color, but is covered in a thick yellow mucus that protects them from parasites and diseases.
 

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Sandbar Shark

Sandbar Shark

Sandbar sharks are the most abundant species of large shark in the Western Atlantic.

These sharks average about 6 feet long and weigh between 110-150 pounds.
 

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Spotted Wobbegong Shark

Spotted Wobbegong Shark

Spotted wobbegongs are found off the southern and southeastern coasts of Australia.

They're sometimes referred to as "carpet sharks" because of their ruffled, rug-like appearance.

They grow continuous throughout life at a very slow pace.
 

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Zebra Shark

Zebra Shark

Zebra Sharks are nocturnal and hunt mollusks, crustaceans and small, bony fish.

These sharks use their barbels, sensory organs that look like whiskers, to locate prey.

Female sharks can lay several eggs at a time.
 

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Goliath Grouper

Goliath Grouper

Goliath grouper are the largest grouper species found in the Atlantic Ocean, weighing up to 800 pounds!

They grow 4 inches per year until they reach 6 years old, then growth slows.

They're an ambush predator who prey on large fishes, invertebrates, and even small sharks!
 

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Southern Stingray

Southern Stingray

Southern stingrays can grow to a total width of 79 inches.

They give live birth after a pregnancy lasting 4-7 months to around 10 pups per litter.

They're preyed on by larger fish like Lemon and Hammerhead sharks.
 

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Longspine Squirrelfish

Longspine Squirrelfish

Longspine squirrelfish are nocturnal and tend to stay in holes or caves during daylight.

They usually move in schools of 8-10 individuals.

They prefer depths of 30-70 meters, and are rare in shallow waters.
 

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Doctor Fish

Doctor Fish

Doctor fish, aka surgeonfish, are known for their sharp spines at the base of their tail that they use for defense.

They are important grazers on the reef and help control algae so that it doesn't grow over the corals and kill them.
 

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Vermilion Snapper

Vermilion Snapper

Vermilion snappers grow slowly. Typically they're around 2 feet long, 7 pounds, and can live up to 15 years.

They reproduce at 1-2 years old.
 

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Cottonwick Grunt

Cottonwick Grunt

Cottonwick grunts get their name from the grunting sound they produce by rubbing their flat teeth together.

They hang around reefs during the day and hunt for food at night.

Juveniles have horizontal bars that fade to yellow stripes with a black bar as they get older.
 

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Sheepshead

Sheepshead

Sheepshead are a euryhaline species, originating from waters with a salinity between 0 and 35 PPT.

They're typically 10-20 inches, but can sometimes grow to 35 inches.

They have incisor and molar-like teeth to help their omnivorous diet.
 

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Golden Trevally

Golden Trevally

Golden trevally form schools and are known to swim closely around sharks and other large fishes.

Juvenile trevally live among the tentacles of jellyfish.
 

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Atlantic Spadefish

Atlantic Spadefish

Atlantic spadefish are the only fish in its family to live in the Atlantic.

You can find these fish in large schools of over 500, living together.

There's a risk of contracting ciguatera poisoning from its flesh.
 

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Palometa Jack

Palometa Jack

Palometa jacks are a schooling fish with elongated dorsal and anal fins that extend toward their tails.

They can grow up to 20 inches long.
 

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Rainbow Runner

Rainbow Runner

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Rooster Hogfish

Rooster Hogfish

The Aviary

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Green-Winged Dove

Green-Winged Dove


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Pied Imperial Pigeon

Pied Imperial Pigeon

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Speckled Pigeon

Speckled Pigeon


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Superb Starling

Superb Starling

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Lady Amherst Pheasant

Lady Amherst Pheasant

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Masked Lapwing

Masked Lapwing


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Golden Pheasant

Golden Pheasant


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Speckled Mousebird

Speckled Mousebird

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Saffron Finch

Saffron Finch

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Guira Cuckoo

Guira Cuckoo

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Nene Goose

Nene Goose

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Hooded Merganser

Hooded Merganser


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White Cheeked Turaco

White Cheeked Turaco

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Blue-Bellied Roler

Blue-Bellied Roler

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Princess Parrot

Princess Parrot

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White Ibis

White Ibis

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Scarlet Ibis

Scarlet Ibis

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Nicobar Pigeon

Nicobar Pigeon

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Blue-Throated Piping-Guan

Blue-Throated Piping-Guan

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Marbled Teal Duck

Marbled Teal Duck

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