An £80m aquarium expected to attract one million people each year is planned for London.
The centre will be a world leader in aquatic research
Biota, in the East End, will combine aquatic tanks and glass-roofed biomes housing fish, reptiles and birds.
The centre, covering an area the size of five football fields, will also carry out research and breeding programmes for endangered species.
The attraction was given outline planning approval by Newham Council and is set to open in 2008.
It will be owned and operated by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) which also owns London Zoo and Whipsnade Animal Park.
There will also be an Amazon biome the volume of 12 Olympic swimming pools, flooded forests and Amazonian trees the height of three London buses.
Dr Heather Koldewey of ZSL said: "It will be a world leader in aquatic research. conservation and public education.
"Each exhibit and the plant and animal species within it has been carefully selected to recreate and explain the vulnerable aquatic habitats where conservation projects are being carried out."