The new “SWARM” exhibit at Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada in Toronto, Ontario, gives credence to the adage about strength in numbers. The collection highlights the survival tactics of animal mobs that live beneath the surface of the sea. Facts, touch tanks and interactive displays showcase the curious creatures.

Scarlet cleaner shrimp, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Toronto, Ontario
[/media-credit] Scarlet cleaner shrimp, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Toronto, Ontario

“We love to welcome student groups to Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada,” said Sandra Woloschuk, sales manager. “With four touch exhibits, nine carefully curated galleries and more than 100 interactives, student groups are inspired and engaged from the moment they walk in. Our mission is to provide a world-class experience that will foster education, conservation and research while providing fun and entertainment for visitors of all ages — and I think we have succeeded in doing that.”

There are fish called lookdowns, which are visible in the aquarium’s permanent exhibit, “Dangerous Lagoon.” Students can pop up into the new lookdown viewing tank. The 2,300-square-foot exhibit is the first rotating gallery to join Ripley’s since the aquarium in Toronto opened in 2013. 

In the wild, find lookdowns in the shallower, temperate waters of the western Atlantic Ocean. Distinguished by their compressed bodies, tiny scales give them a silvery shimmer. “SWARM” includes other specimens, such as coral catfish and blue blubber Jellyfish among the 1,000 new residents at the aquarium. 

Halloween crab, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Toronto, Ontario
[/media-credit] Halloween crab, Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada, Toronto, Ontario

There are colorful Halloween crabs, which are land crabs found throughout mangrove habitats in the Caribbean and Central America. Because crabs are sociable creatures, they lead happier, healthier lives when surrounded by other crabs.

Student groups can meet the “Clean Team” at the scarlet cleaner shrimp tank and watch the omnivorous scavengers feed on dead skin and fingernails. Or, take a peek at flashlight fish to see how these nocturnal creatures glow in the dark.

When making reservations, educators and group leaders may arrange to drop off students in front of the aquarium on the north side of Bremner Boulevard. Parking is available nearby.

For more information, call 647-351-3474 or visit ripleysaquariumofcanada.com.