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World of WaterDive into an aquatic adventure unique in Central Alabama, where you can see, touch, and learn about local and global marine habitats!
World of WaterPaleontology

The Best—And Only—Aquarium in Birmingham, AL!

One of our most popular exhibits here at McWane Science Center is the World of Water aquarium, included in every general admission ticket. The World of Water provides a fascinating glimpse into our planet’s marine life. It also serves as an educational and research opportunity for students of environmental science, marine biology, aquatic ecology, and more. Come rain or shine, high summer heat or bitter winter cold, World of Water at McWane Science Center is an indoor attraction that can be enjoyed year-round.

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River Journey

River Journey is a large natural habitat that re-creates a section of the Cahaba River, Alabama’s last major free-flowing river and one of the most biologically diverse waterways on the planet. This exhibit combines terrestrial and aquatic environments to focus on the animals and plants that live in and along the river.

Collection highlights:
  • Spotted bass
  • Black buffalo fish
  • Red-eared slider
  • Yellow-bellied slider
  • Alligator gar
  • Blue catfish
  • Black crappie
  • Yellow perch

Lake Tank

The Lake Tank contains fish typically found in an Alabama Reservoir habitat. Many lakes in Alabama are actually impounded reservoirs, which are rivers that have been dammed to create large flood pools. You can also see our Cypress Forest tank here, recreating river delta habitats in Southern Alabama.

a fish swimming under water

Ocean Journey

The Ocean Journey area is dedicated to saltwater environments from around the world and features some of the most amazing creatures in the ocean. Make your way through various seascapes, including the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Ocean, and more. This exhibit is bursting with tropical fish, including favorites like the green moray eel, the moon jellyfish, clownfish, and more.

Collection highlights:
  • Moray eel
  • Moon jellyfish
  • Fuzzy dwarf lionfish
  • Yellow tang
  • Fairy basslet
  • Banggai cardinalfish
  • French angelfish
  • Chocolate chip sea star
a fish swimming under water

Coral Tank

The Coral Tank features corals from the Indo-Pacific region. You will also find brightly colored fish and live rock in the Coral Tank. Everything in this tank has a unique job—like cleaning algae or picking parasites off of the coral.

Shark & Ray Touch Tank

Feeling brave? Now’s your opportunity to pet some of the sea’s most fascinating creatures: sharks and stingrays! Of course, our bamboo sharks, southern stingrays, and cownose rays are perfectly safe to touch when you follow our handy instructions. But you don’t have to mention that when you tell your friends!

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about the McWane Collection or want to make a request to perform scientific research, please contact our Director of Collections, Jun Ebersole.

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