With its large collection of Latin American marine biology, the Sea Museum boasts the biggest collection of stuffed sharks in the country, including a two-headed megalodon shark embryo with fossilized teeth, a pre-historic creature that has been extinct for 30 million years.
There is also a whale shark on display; an ocean sunfish, the heaviest bony fish in the world; sea birds and shells weighing more than 100 kilos. Most of the collection is from abroad.
The clownfish, blue tang and yellow tang featuring in the film ‘Finding Nemo’, can be seen in one of the museum’s aquariums, along with the sponges and crustaceans that inspired the animated film ‘Sponge Bob’.
With a three-meter wing span, the wandering albatross is considered the world’s largest sea bird. Originally from the South Atlantic, the species is threatened with extinction – of the 21 that exist, 19 are under threat.
The largest bony fish in the world, at 1.60 meters long and weighing 254 kilos, the ocean sunfish is exhibited in the museum. This round-shaped fish, which can reach six meters in length and weigh 900 kilos, is found in the temperate, warm zones of the Atlantic and Pacific.
Of the 21,000 shells on display, two giant examples of the species Tridacna Gigas, considered to be the largest in the world, will catch your eye. One of them, from the Philippines, is one meter in diameter and weighs 148 kilos.
Dwarf lantern shark
The smallest of the shark species is the dwarf lantern shark, at just 24 centimeters long. It has a bioluminescent stomach, making it glow in the dark, and is the only shark that has pointed spines at the front of its first dorsal fin.
The largest of the species, the whale shark in the Sea Museum is six meters long and weighs more than one ton – it is the only example on display in South America. The museum houses 40% of all the shark species in the world.
A cultural entity run by private initiative, the Sea Museum, inaugurated in 1984, also offers free diving and amateur autonomous diving courses, and taxidermy courses focusing on embalming fish and crustaceans.