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YOU decide the traits that make a species special


YOU decide the traits that make a species special

the tournament

Are your favorite Aquarium animals the best dressed or the most athletic? The most interesting or been around the longest?

The animals at the Aquarium have some amazing traits, talents, and survival strategies that allow them to survive in their natural environments. We want to know what YOU think are the most interesting traits in the animal kingdom.

Our Traits & Talents Tournament features 8 “teams” of Aquarium animals that share some similar styles and skills. You’ll choose the team that you like best and help vote them through to the next round!

The Championship is set and features Reef Royalty facing Black Tie Affair!

Championship voting runs through 3/28.

how to vote

  • Vote online HERE
  • Get one additional vote when you comment on social media posts about the tournament using your team’s hashtag
  • Get three additional votes if you post a picture at the Aquarium with one of your team’s species, tag us, and use the team hashtag
Can’t decide? Make sure you visit the Aquarium to see the animals in person!

team: reef royalty - championship


From stars of the silver screen to show-stopping colors, these animals represent the ecosystem that accounts for 25% of the ocean’s biodiversity. If you’re a fan of bold colors, exciting adaptations, and complex combinations, this team’s for you!

Notable Animals: tesselata eel, clownfish, squarespot anthers

team: Black Tie Affair - championship


This team is comprised of the most easily recognizable animals at the Aquarium. From penguins rocking tuxedos to fish literally named after artists, these species always impress. If style is your game, this is the team for you!

Notable Animals: Humboldt penguins, copperband butterflyfish, picasso triggerfish

team: shell shocked - [eliminated]


Slow and steady wins the race, or in this case, the tournament! Maybe not the fastest team in the dance but it’s full of fan favorites. Rescued sea turtle Squirt has already made a splash with staff and visitors alike. This makes for one turtle-y awesome team.

Notable Animals: Kemp’s ridley sea turtle, Florida soft-shell turtle, spotted turtle

team: toxic touch - [eliminated]


Get too close and it might be too late. Colorful dart frogs and mesmerizing sea nettles lead a team that others will want to keep their distance from. Brushing up against this team in the tournament (or in nature) is not an experience you’ll forget!

Notable Animals: Pacific sea nettle, poison dart frog, dahlia anemone

team: legends [eliminated]


These true blue-bloods (literally in the case of horseshoe crabs) have been around for while for a reason. These animals found a winning strategy and stuck with it. If you’re a history buff or just a fan of sustained success, roll with the proven winners.

Notable Animals: lake sturgeon, horseshoe crab, longnose gar

team: pointy personalities [eliminated]


The sign says “KEEP OUT.”

These may not be the most cuddly animals at the Aquarium but they are fascinating to look at! If you’re known to have sharp wit, you’ll want to to stick with this team.

Notable Animals: lionfish, balloonfish, Pacific spiny lumpsucker

team: shock & awe [eliminated]


An eel (technically knifefish) that can light up a Christmas tree and color-changing cuttlefish lead this team of mind-bending beings. If you’re a fan of magic and mystery, this electrifying team is for you.

Notable Animals: electric eel, cuttlefish

team: the athletes [eliminated]


Sometimes, it pays to be more athletic. From leaping out of the water to catch prey, to swimming over 20mph to hunt or avoid predators, these athletic animals always impress with their physical skills. If the Aquarium had a sports team, these would be the stars!

Notable Animals: California sea lion, Asian arowana