image of large fish in an aquarium exhibit at Frost Science museum

A behemoth true to its name. Meet the goliath grouper.

The goliath grouper (Epinephelus itajara) lives in a 17-foot deep, 20,000-gallon saltwater exhibit, which spans all the way from the Royal Caribbean Vista level down to The Dive level. The exhibit’s charismatic star is an ambush predator which feeds on large fish and invertebrates and can grow to be at least 8 feet long and weigh up to 700 pounds. Goliath groupers are critically endangered due to overfishing, but they are making a comeback!

You’ll find the impressive grouper nestled in a rocky habitat featuring natural limestone with overhangs and corals, typical of those preferred by this species. As you explore the grouper’s home, you’ll encounter other species of colorful fish, including a moray eel who lurks between the rocks and tries to steal the limelight.

Photo credit: Zach Ransom Photography

Did You Know?

Hungry Giants

Goliath groupers use their large mouths to suck in their prey whole and swallow them without chewing.