From the canopy of our butterfly-filled, four-story rainforest to the bioluminescent depths of the little-known "twilight zone," explore the world's most vibrant, vital ecosystems from the heart of San Francisco.

Steinhart Aquarium is one of the most biologically diverse and interactive aquariums on Earth. Home to nearly 60,000 live animals, representing more than 1,000 unique species, it offers guests an unprecedented view of underwater and terrestrial habitats. From species displayed nowhere else in the world to exhibits about cutting-edge research in little-known ocean ecosystems, a visit to Steinhart Aquarium is full of discovery.

Since 1923, Steinhart Aquarium has developed a colorful history of firsts. From becoming the first public aquarium to display flashlight fish and coconut octopuses to advancing exploration of the ocean’s mysterious “twilight zone,” innovation and scientific excellence are in our DNA.

Today, Steinhart Aquarium continues to shape the role that modern aquariums play in educating and inspiring the public about the biodiversity and sustainability of our oceans and rainforests.

Update: Pogo and Ozzie, our two new penguin chicks, have joined the rest of the colony! Enjoy their exploits during your next visit or via webcam.

A guest gazes in wonder inside the Amazon Flooded Forest tunnel

Exhibits that inspire

From our Venom: Fangs, Stingers, and Spines exhibit with over a dozen species that bite, stun, and sting, to our charismatic colony of endangered African penguins, Steinhart Aquarium captivates visitors of all ages.

An orange fish peeks out from the tentacles of a sea anemone

Hope for Reefs

The Academy’s bold initiative to research and restore critical coral reef ecosystems focuses on solutions to sustaining these “rainforests of the sea” for future generations.

Why we're hopeful

Biologist Vicki McCloskey feeds a hungry colony of African penguins

Animal care and well-being

Caring for nearly 60,000 live animals goes far beyond daily feedings and regular check-ups. Enrichment programs developed by aquarium biologists ensure that animal residents remain happy, healthy, and engaged.

Meet the team

Incredible macro photograph of a dwarf cuttlefish embryo in its egg sac

Species Survival Plan programs

Steinhart biologists participate in a variety of breeding programs aimed at conserving species and maintaining genetic diversity in zoo and aquarium populations, including African penguins, frogs, cuttlefish, and corals.

Learn more

Dive Safety Officer Mauritius Bell descends into a brilliant blue canyon off Grand Cayman

Scientific diving

From performing daily dive shows and keeping aquarium tanks pristine to conducting underwater research in ocean depths around the world, the Academy’s scientific diving program is making waves.

Dive in

An elegant red sea star displays its ventral side against an exhibit tank

Sustaining our oceans

As part of the Academy’s commitment to sustainability, our aquarium biologists and marine scientists work to protect and conserve vital ocean habitats—from restoring coral reef ecosystems to reducing single-use plastics, sustainability is at the center of our science.

Sustainability Success Stories