My sister and I recently visited the Denver Aquarium. She had never been to the Aquarium, and it had been a few years since I had gone.
After we received our wristbands, we took the big fish escalator up to the second floor. Once on the second floor; we entered the North American Wilderness. Within this exhibit you could feel the tropic humidity enveloping your skin. Here we admired the huge Alligator Snapping Turtle, the Sunfish, Ducks, the sleeping River Otters, the Sturgeon and the popular Rainbow Trout. It was a surprise to see a Bald Eagle in this exhibit, sitting upon a tall nest. I didn’t think he was alive at first, but then he scared me when he moved! This exhibit featured different kinds of water forms found from the high mountains to the dry canyons. There was a wide variety of animal species to learn about.
The next portion of our journey through the Downtown Aquarium, lead us to the Desert. Within the Desert we saw the Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes, Desert Pupfish, Poison Dart Frogs, Tarantulas, Emerald Tree Boas and the Bearded Dragon. It was awesome to learn about the different types of specialized species that are adapted to the hot and dry conditions. My favorite part of this exhibit was learning which snakes are poisonous to humans.
We also went Under the Sea!!!! I loved this part of the Aquarium. We got to see little Seahorses, the Green Moray Eel, Nurse Sharks, Blue Runners, Groupers and the Southern Stingrays. This exhibit was filled with colorful Coral Reefs and Star Fish. I learned that the Coral Reefs protect the shoreline from the aggressive waves. Also, the marine life uses the reef as protection and food.
At the Wharf was the next exhibit we entered. Within this area we saw animal species that have adapted to survive in tough environments with changing tides. There were: Rockfish, Ling Cod, Garibaldi, Longnose Skate, Leopard Sharks, Sea Anemones and Cabazon’s.
After visiting the Wharf we walked into the Rainforest. It is amazing how fast you can feel the humid mist falling from the plants. In the Rainforest was saw: the Freshwater Stingrays, the Red Belly Piranhas, the African Cichlids, Oscar, Barramundi’s and the Sumatran Tigers. I learned that 7% of the world is rainforests, which contain more life than any other place on earth, but rainforests are the most threatened by human activities.
Next we entered the Coral Lagoon. This exhibit is the ideal breeding grounds and nurseries for marine mammals and many fish. This may be because one side of the Coral Lagoon is by the shoreline, while the other side is a reef. In this area we looked at the Spiny Lobsters, the Butterfly Fish, Damselfish and the lovely Angelfish.
We then went to the Sunken Temple. This area held ancient ruins and temples from different cultures that have survived for ages. We saw the Zebra Shark, the Lion Fish, Barracuda, Unicorn Tang, Batfish and live Coral. After visiting the Temple we ventured on to the Shipwreck. The Shipwreck was located at the edge of the coral reefs where shipwrecks were normally found. We gazed in aw at the Moon Jellyfish, Sea Nettle, the Brown Shark and the Sand Tiger Shark. My favorite marine life in this exhibit was the Jellyfish. They are so peaceful it was hard to walk away from their twists and twirls in the water, they almost remind me of ballerinas dancing in the water with wonderful balance and harmony.
Once we left the Shipwreck, I could tell our adventure within the Downtown Aquarium was coming to an end. We walked into the Beach. At the Beach, there was a large pool full of Southern Stingrays. People were surrounding the pool trying to pet and feed the Stingrays. Here we also saw the Wolf Eel, the Giant Pacific Octopus with millions of suckers glued to the glass and the Cownose Ray. My sister and I got to pet the Stingrays, they were so friendly. They kept coming up to the wall and flapping their bodies, splashing their audience.
Visiting the Downtown Aquarium was definitely an adventure my sister and I will never forget. It is not too often that you get to see such wild and unique marine life and mammals. I would have to say, all in all, my favorite exhibit would include the Seahorses and the Jellyfish. My sister really enjoyed petting the Stingrays and gazing at the Seahorses.
If you have not been to the Downtown Aquarium, I would highly recommend you visit! And, don’t forget to comeback and share a comment with us about your experience.