National Aquarium in Baltimore

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National Aquarium in Baltimore
The National Aquarium in Baltimore is a public aquarium located at 501 E Pratt St. in the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore, Maryland, USA. It was opened in 1981 and was constructed during Baltimore's urban renewal period. The aquarium has an annual attendance of 1.5 million (2009) to see its collection of 16,500 specimens representing 660 species. Particular attractions include the dolphin display, rooftop rainforest, and central ray pool, and multiple-story shark tank. The National Aquarium in Baltimore is widely considered to be one of the best in the United States, if not the world. Coastal Living named it the #1 aquarium in the U.S. in 2006. The National Aquarium in Baltimore is not to be confused with the National Aquarium in Washington, D.C.; however, the National Aquarium in Washington D.C. has been operated by the National Aquarium in Baltimore since 2003. In 2005, the National Aquarium was the largest tourist attraction in the state of Maryland. In November 2006, the National Aquarium won a Best of Baltimore award for "Best Over Priced Destination for Families." The National Aquarium’s initial conceptual design, architecture and exhibit design was led by Peter Chermayeff of Peter Chermayeff LLC while he was at Cambridge Seven Associates, and the conceptual, architectural, and exhibit design for the Glass Pavilion expansion in 2005 was led by Bobby C. Poole while at Chermayeff, Sollogub & Poole. The aquarium is currently divided into three buildings: Pier 3 Pavilion, which contains most of the main exhibits; Pier 4 Pavilion, which houses the dolphinarium, and the Glass Pavilion, which contains the new exhibit Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes. Each building has at least one gift shop and a cafe.

Relationship with the National Aquarium in Washington, D.C.
The National Aquarium in Washington, D.C. is a separate aquarium in Washington, D.C.. Founded in 1873, it was originally distinct from (and a rival of) the Baltimore aquarium. Both used the title "National Aquarium"; the National Aquarium in Washington, D.C. is older, while the National Aquarium in Baltimore is larger and enjoys better funding. Like its Baltimore counterpart, the National Aquarium in Washington is not managed or funded by the federal government, despite the official-sounding names. Neither is part of the Smithsonian Institution. On September 4, 2003, the National Aquarium Society and the Board of Governors for the National Aquarium in Baltimore announced an alliance, in which the National Aquarium in Baltimore would operate the D.C. aquarium. A signing ceremony hosted by Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans was held at the Commerce Department building. The National Aquarium in Washington, D.C. uses the nationalaquarium.com domain name.

Exhibits

Pier 3 Pavilion
This building contains five levels or floors that are accessible via escalator. Each floor possesses several exhibits that communicate a main theme. This building also houses two large tanks, one of which simulates an Atlantic coral reef, and the other simulates the open ocean. Level 1: Wings in the Water This large pool on the bottom floor houses animals such as: Southern Stingray, Roughtail Stingray, Cownose Ray, Bullnose Ray, Pelagic Ray, Spiny Butterfly Ray, Atlantic Guitarfish, Blacknose Shark, Zebra Shark, Bonnethead Shark, and Tarpon. Level 2: Maryland: Mountains to the Sea This level features fish that are native to Maryland. The four exhibits create the illusion that the viewer is travelling down a Maryland stream from its source in the Allegheny Mountains, to a tidal marsh, to a coastal beach, and finally ending at the Atlantic shelf. Featured Animals Include: Allegheny Stream Painted Turtle ( Chrysemys picta) Wood Turtle ( Glyptemys insculpta) American Bullfrog ( Rana catesbeiana) Rosyside Dace ( Clinostomus funduloides) Tidal Marsh Diamondback Terrapin ( Malaclemys terrapin) Feather Blenny ( Hypsoblennius hentz) Sheepshead Minnow ( Cyprinodon variegatus) Coastal Beach Striped Burrfish ( Chilomycterus schoepfi) Blue Crab ( Callinectes sapidus) Atlantic Shelf Clearnose Skate ( Raja eglanteria) Summer Flounder ( Paralichthys dentatus) Level 3: Surviving through Adaptation This level features fish that possess strange adaptations for survival that are needed within their various environments. For example, the electric eel has the rare ability to shock its prey with electricity. Featured Animals Include: Electric Eel ( Electrophorus electricus) Chambered Nautilus ( Nautilus pompilius) Giant Pacific Octopus ( Enteroctopus dofleini) Level 4: Sea Cliffs, Kelp Forest, Pacific Coral Reef, Amazon River Forest This level displays several aquatic habitats, including a sea cliffs exhibit, which houses several species of seabirds; a Pacific coral reef exhibit; a kelp forest exhibit; and an Amazon River forest exhibit, in which animals can be seen down in the water and up in the overlying foliage. Featured Animals Include: Sea Cliffs Atlantic Puffin ( Fratercula arctica) Pacific Coral Reef Banggai Cardinalfish ( Pterapogon kauderni) Amazon River Forest Pygmy Marmoset ( Cebuella pygmaea) Giant Amazon River Turtle ( Podocnemis expansa) Level 5: Upland Tropical Rain Forest, Hidden Life This level contains a rainforest exhibit, which contains several animals found in the Amazon Rainforest. This part of the aquarium contains an elevated platform for bird/monkey viewing and a cave of various glass enclosed displays of reptiles, amphibians, and terrestrial arthropods. This exhibit is structured like a walk-in aviary. Guests are permitted to walk into the enclosure, in which the birds and monkeys can move around freely, which gives the illusion that the guests are in the Amazon Rainforest. Featured Animals Include: Golden Lion Tamarin ( Leontopithecus rosalia) Scarlet Ibis ( Eudocimus ruber) Sunbittern ( Eurypyga helias) Yellow-Headed Amazon Parrot ( Amazona oratrix) White-Tailed Trogon ( Trogon viridis) Blue-Crowned Motmot ( Momotus momota) Blue-Gray Tanager ( Thraupis episcopus) Blue Poison Dart Frog ( Dendrobates azureus) Atlantic Coral Reef This large exhibit replicates the Atlantic Coral Reef, and is filled with fish that would be found anywhere from closer to shore to out into the trench and open ocean. Featured Animals Include: Green Moray Eel ( Gymnothorax funebris) Open Ocean This exhibit simulates the open ocean, and contains several species of sharks, including sand tiger sharks, sandbar sharks, nurse sharks, and sawfish. Featured Animals Include: Nurse Shark ( Ginglymostoma cirratum) Sand Tiger Shark ( Carcharias taurus)

Pier 4 Pavilion
This smaller building, opened in 1990, features the marine mammal display and a dolphinarium, which holds dolphin shows at various times. It also holds a temporary exhibit on assorted jellyfish called "Jellies Invasion: Oceans Out of Balance". Featured Animals Include: Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphin ( Tursiops truncatus) Jellies Invasion: Oceans Out of Balance This temporary exhibit in the Pier 4 Pavilion building showcases several species of jellyfish, and also illustrates how these animals are important bioindicators, which means that they are sensitive to changes within their environment, and therefore, serve as an early warning sign that changes are occurring within an ecosystem, whether from pollution, invasive species, climate change, or any other factor. Featured Animals Include: Atlantic Sea Nettle ( Chrysaora quinquecirrha) Pacific Sea Nettle ( Chrysaora fuscescens) Purple-Striped Jelly ( Chrysaora colorata) Northern Sea Nettle ( Chrysaora melanaster) Black Sea Nettle ( Chrysaora achlyos) Moon Jelly ( Aurelia aurita) Egg Yolk Jelly ( Phacellophora camtschatica) Lion's Mane Jelly ( Cyanea capillata) Spotted Lagoon Jelly ( Mastigias papua) Blue Blubber Jelly ( Catostylus mosaicus) Upside-Down Jelly ( Cassiopea xamachana) Leidy's Comb Jelly ( Mnemiopsis leidyi)

Glass Pavilion (Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes)
Like the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit, this new exhibit is structured like a large walk-in aviary, and allows many of the flying animals to roam freely throughout the exhibit. The exhibit represents a river gorge in Australia, and contains many pools in which Australian aquatic life can be found. It is designed to show the wild extremes faced by this particular part of Australia - fire, drought, and flood. The Aquarium completed the renovation and a multi-million dollar expansion on December 16, 2005; the expanded portion ”“ featuring an " Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes" exhibit ”“ is 64,500 ft² (6,000 m²). The exterior of the new expansion features a glass-enclosed interactive area that will teach visitors about bayscaping, bird-box building, the nationally recognized National Aquarium in Baltimore's Marine Animal Rescue Program, water quality testing, marine debris issues, and wetland restoration. Inside the expanded portion of the Aquarium, directly in the main entrance, is a 35-foot (10 m) waterfall that was modeled from an actual waterfall in a Maryland state park. The prominent display is also visible from outside the Aquarium. Also inside the expanded portion is a re-creation of an Australian habitat. The Umbrawarra Gorge of Australia is carefully depicted inside the upper portion of the expanded building, and the exhibit depicts lands of fire, drought, and flood. Aboriginal artwork, based on actual work discovered in Australia, is also found in the gorge exhibit. These images depict aboriginal interpretations of the land that they live on. According to the December 2005 issue of Baltimore magazine, the expansion cost $74.6 million, used 33,000 square feet (3,100 m 2) of glass, and rose 120 feet into the air. According to a December 9, 2005, Baltimore Sun article regarding the expansion, the National Aquarium expected a 400,000-person increase in visitors by the end of 2006 and had a goal of bringing in two million visitors by 2010. Officials of the Baltimore Area Convention & Visitors Association hoped that the expected increase in the number of Aquarium visitors would boost the number of overnight leisure travelers and businesses at the Baltimore Convention Center, which since its $151 million 1997 expansion had not been meeting projections. It was also revealed that multiple themes were test-marketed for the expansion before the Australian theme was approved; the original themes were the Florida Everglades, the ring of fire in Thailand, and Arctic birds, complete with an iceberg. Lyn Frankel, senior director of marketing at the Aquarium, stated that the expansion was only the beginning of the Aquarium's expansion plans over the next 10 years. The aquarium recently opened a 4D theater for 2008. Featured Animals Include: Grey-Headed Flying Fox ( Pteropus poliocephalus) Laughing Kookaburra ( Dacelo novaeguineae) Rainbow Lorikeet ( Trichoglossus haematodus) Zebra Finch ( Taeniopygia guttata) Snake-Necked Turtle ( Chelodina longicollis) Pig-Nosed Turtle ( Carettochelys insculpta) Black-Headed Python ( Aspidites melanocephalus) Death Adder ( Acanthophis antarcticus) Frilled Lizard ( Chlamydosaurus kingii) Spiny-Tailed Monitor ( Varanus acanthurus) Australian Freshwater Crocodile ( Crocodylus johnstoni) Empire Gudgeon ( Hypseleotris compressa) Archerfish ( Toxotes chatareus) Barramundi ( Lates calcarifer)

Name the Baby Dolphin
On November 11, 2008 the aquarium announced it would holding a contest in which the public could vote for the name of their newest baby dolphin. The name chosen was Bayley. She was named after her mother, Chesapeake, and the bay.

Building Activity

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