Chill out at the Rocky Coast exhibit and take in the cool wonders of the arctic. This popular exhibit complex features seabird, peregrine falcon and harbor seal. Underwater viewing at seabird and seal provides memorable experiences and an opportunity to get close to these amazing animals.
Harbor seals are one of the smallest members of the Phocidae family. Male harbor seals can weigh up to 264 lbs. while females weigh up to 198 lbs. Harbor seals are known as “true” or “earless” seals. This is because they lack external ear flaps, a characteristic of sea lions and fur seals. Harbor seals spend most of their time in the water. They typically dive to about 10 ft but are capable of diving up to 650ft. They are able to stay submerged for up to 30 minutes.
The Arctic foxes are temporarily on exhibit at the African Pavilion due to the renovation and expansion at the Polar Bear exhibit.
The arctic fox typically weighs 8-9 pounds. Male foxes are slightly larger then the females. In the winter months they have a bushy white or slate blue coat which is replaced by a thinner brown coat in the summer. These animals can be found on the arctic tundra and ice as well as in the alpine zone of Norway and Sweden.
This colorful little seabird can be found in the cold waters of the northern Pacific Ocean and Bering Sea. Puffins are closely connected to the sea. They spend 6-8 months each year on the open ocean. They come back to land only during breeding season. Puffins have large beaks that are used for carrying fish back to their young. They are about 14.5 inches from the tip of their beaks to the tip of their tails and have a wingspan of about 22 inches.
The largest of all bears, polar bears are also the largest land-based carnivore. An average male stands over 8 feet tall and can weigh over 1000 pounds. Their large body, thick layer of blubber and thick coat of fur protect them from harsh conditions. The polar bears’ diet consists mainly of seals, but they will also eat other large marine animals, fish, seaweed and berries. Humans are the polar bears' only natural enemy. Today oil wells, pipelines, roads, airstrips and homes are being built on the land where they live. Contamination of their environment through pesticides, oil spills and litter is a great threat.