Rose Island off the coast of American Samoa
Dr. Jean Kenyon, NOAA/NMFS/PIFSC

Island Zone

Visit a tropical island research station to learn about evolution by studying some of the unique animals that make these isolated habitats their homes. Let curiosity be your guide as you examine live lizards, reef-dwelling tropical fish and freshwater cichlid fish from Africa, and find out why ecologists turn to island life for clues about the way evolution works.

Exhibit Highlights

  • Anole in the Island Zone

    Anole Enclosure

    Examine island lizards called anoles and see how they’ve adapted to their specific habitats.

  • Survival of the Fittest game

    Survival of the Fittest

    Play the role of a predator in this interactive computer game, and explore how natural selection influences the evolution of a species over multiple generations.

  • Fish from the Hawaiian reef exhibit in the Island Zone

    Underwater Island Life

    Observe colorful, live reef fish that are found only in the waters around Hawaii.

  • Fish Find a Niche exhibit

    Fish Find a Niche

    See the diversity of cichlids, fish from African rift lakes that have developed behaviors to help them live and feed in unique habitats in the lakes.