As you cross the wooden bridge over Long Island Aquarium’s Lagoon, look both ways to view a miniature panorama of Long Island – the towering bluffs and rock-strewn beaches of the North Shore on one side, and the rolling dunes and salt marshes of the South Shore on the other.
This habitat is home to many species that can be found off the shores of Long Island and, in fact, many of the animals have been caught locally in the Peconic Bay or Shinnecock Bay. These species include Striped Bass, Tautog, Striped Sea Robin, and Summer Flounder.
We also have species in the Lagoon that are not typically found in Long Island waters. However, due to the warm Gulf Stream current, many tropical species drift into our waters and are able to survive in the summer when our water is also very warm. The Gulf Stream riders we have in this habitat include Tarpon, Red Drum, and Black Drum.
In addition to the bony fishes, there are also some cartilaginous fishes in this habitat. Cartilaginous fishes belong to the class chondrichthyes. Sharks, skates, rays and chimaera are all cartilaginous fishes. They have a skeleton made from cartilage, instead of bone, which makes them more flexible. Lagoon is home to a sandbar shark, and two southern stingrays.