Aquariums

Tim and I have visited several aquariums on our road trip. A few days ago we stopped at the Georgia Aquarium, which is best known for its huge main tank that holds four whale sharks, as well as a manta and several thousand other fish. Whale shark teeth are known from the Calvert Formation, although we’ve never identified them at Carmel Church (so far). Even as large as whale sharks are, as filter feeders their teeth are tiny. We spent the day at the aquarium, and were able to see a whale shark feeding late in the afternoon:

This afternoon we stopped at the Dauphin Island Sea Lab Estuarium. Dauphin Island is a small barrier island at the mouth of Mobile Bay in Alabama. The Sea Lab does a lot of oceanographic work in Mobile Bay and the Gulf of Mexico, and includes the Estuarium as part of their educational effort. I have to say it was probably the finest small aquarium I have ever visited, with a huge amount of both fish and information packed into a tiny space. We stayed several hours, but I could have easily spent a day there. Two of the more interesting specimens (at least to me) included a black drum (Pogonias, top), and a red drum (Sciaenops, bottom), both of which are known from Carmel Church:

As a final bonus, while on Dauphin Island we stopped briefly at Fort Gaines, a Confederate fort that guarded Mobile during the Battle of Mobile Bay. I mention it here because parts of the original fort walls were built of indurated shell beds that are most likely Pleistocene in age:

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2 Responses to Aquariums

  1. Doug says:

    Look like neat places. I have been to many spectacular aquariums over here, like Vancouver Aquarium, Oregon Coast Aquarium, Aquarium of the Pacific, Steinhart Aquarium and of coarse, the Monterey Bay Aquarium (my favorite one).

  2. Alton Dooley says:

    I’ve been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium; I especially like that you can walk out onto the intertidal rocks behind the aquarium, where there are tons of critters.

    I forgot to mention that the whale sharks, at about 6 meters, are just babies. They can reach over 12 meters.

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