The Aquarium's theme is "Diversity of Water," and the
exhibits flow neatly from one to another, showing an interrelated
web of life that starts in our streams and rivers and ends in the
open ocean. Exhibit areas are divided into separate ecosystems
including Freshwater Fortune, Coral Reef, Coldwater Climates, Open
Ocean, and Tropical Rainforests.
cool air of the headwaters, slow melting
snow gives way to gentle ripples gaining speed
and crushing force, before coming to rest in a
favorite stream, pond, lake, or river."
- Overflowing with life
The journey begins close to home with an outside exhibit of the Allegheny
river that includes bass and other local fish. Once inside the
doors of the Aquarium, visitors immediately become aware that our
local ecosystem is intimately connected with a vast number of
around the globe. North American fish in the Freshwater
Gallery were strategically placed to be the first exhibits inside
the aquarium. "We show people their own backyard and
say, 'Start here,'" says Jim Prappas, the curator of Aquatic
Life at the Pittsburgh Zoo and Aquarium." Relate to what's
here. This is your environment. Now come see the diversity of
water connected to your own backyard."
the shadow of glaciers, sometimes beneath a
protective layer of ice, species thrive in seawater
that's as cold as it can be without freezing."
-Testing the limits
As you approach the Coldwater climate sign, a quick chill runs
down your spine as you think about seawater as cold as ice. You
literally become a part of the exhibit as you pass through an ice
cold aquarium tank that circles from the floor over your head.
While the fish haven't arrived in this tank yet, it will be a
stunning chance to see coldwater aquatic life from all angles, and
a part of their world. On the other side of this
tunneled tank is the King Penguin exhibit, a favorite with
children. The penguins just recently arrived home from a
"vacation" in Galveston, Texas where they stayed at a
zoo called The Rainforest at Moody Gardens, while their new home
here in Pittsburgh was under construction. The tank has both
above and below ground viewing so that you can watch the cute
little tuxedoed birds
frolic in the water and waddle on land. Children always have fun
waddling around in imitation!
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