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See Bizarre Yet Breathtaking Animals In Spineless, NY Aquarium's New Exhibit

See Bizarre Yet Breathtaking Animals In Spineless, NY Aquarium's New Exhibit

Your kids will be amazed by jelly fish, a giant octopus, a massive crab and more at New York Aquarium's newest exhibit.

Jellies, a giant octopus, a crab that spans 12 feet claw to claw: These aren’t inhabitants of a different planet, but rather, some of the amazing underwater animals you can see at the Wildlife Conservation Society’s New York Aquarium’s newest exhibit, Spineless.

The exhibit features a breathtaking array of aquatic wildlife that are all invertebrates, meaning they don’t have backbones. But don’t be fooled by their lack of spine—these animals are anything but weak. In fact, the giant Pacific octopus is highly intelligent and has been known to use tools and open jars to get food. And the Pacific sea nettle is nothing to mess with. It hunts by spreading its tentacles out like a net, using barbed stingers to release a paralyzing toxin into their prey (yikes!).

RELATED | Aquariums in the NY Metro Area

Another star of Spineless is the common cuttlefish (pronounced cuddle-fish), a sea creature that is anything but cuddly. Cuttlefish have many defense mechanisms, including a water-shooting siphon used to propel them away from danger. It can also release ink to distract and disorient a predator (sort of like a foggy smoke screen).

The Spineless exhibit is also home to species including moon jellies, lagoon jellies, and the Japanese spider crab, the largest arthropod in the world.


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All exhibits at the Coney Island aquarium highlight aquatic wildlife that can be found locally and around the world. In addition to the residents of Spineless, other animals to see at the aquarium include sharks, harbor seals, and black-footed penguins. There is also an Aquatheater where sea lions and their trainers take center stage to show visitors the bonds these majestic animals have with their keepers. Daily show times are posted at the aquarium’s entrance.

In other adorable news, the aquarium announced this week on social media that there’s a new addition to its animal family: a harbor seal pup! According to aquarium staff, she’s doing very well, as are her parents, Kordelia and Will. (She’s not on exhibit yet, but she’s sure to charm everyone once she’s out and about!)


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The New York Aquarium is located at 602 Surf Ave. in Coney Island, Brooklyn. For more information about visiting the aquarium, including its COVID-19 precautions, visit

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Barbara Russo

Author: Barbara Russo is a freelance writer who holds a bachelor's degree in communications from the City University of New York. She enjoys playing guitar, following current events, and hanging out with her pet rabbits. See More

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