The Georgia Aquarium - Atlanta USA
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The Georgia Aquarium is a public aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. It houses more than 100,000 animals and represents several thousand species, all of which reside in 10 million US gallons (38,000 m3) of marine and salt water. It was the largest aquarium in the world from its opening in 2005 until 2012, when it was surpassed by Marine Life Park in Singapore.
A $250 million donation from the foundation of local businessman and Home Depot founder Bernard Marcus provided the bulk of the funding needed to build and stock the new facility.
The aquarium is in downtown Atlanta on land donated by The Coca-Cola Company, just north of Centennial Olympic Park. Its blue metal-and-glass exterior is meant to evoke a giant ark breaking through a wave. The world's largest when it opened in November 2005, the aquarium encompassed 550,000 square feet (5.1 ha; 13 acres) of covered space and its exhibits held 8,000,000 US gallons (30,000,000 l) of fresh and salt water. Subsequent additions to the collection and redesign of some habitats have increased the total water held to 10,000,000 US gallons (38,000,000 l)
Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, Georgia, United States, North America
The Georgia Aquarium houses 120,000 animals, representing 500 species, in 8.5 million US gallons (32,000 m3) of marine and fresh water; it was the world's largest aquarium when it opened in 2005. Businessman Bernard Marcus credits his 60th birthday dinner, held at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, with inspiring him to build a great aquarium for Atlanta; his subsequent $250 million donation provided the bulk of the money needed to build and stock the new facility. The Aquarium's notable specimens include four young whale sharks, four beluga whales, eleven bottlenose dolphins and four manta rays. In November 2001 Bernard Marcus announced his vision of presenting Atlanta with an aquarium that would encourage both education and economic growth. After visiting 56 aquariums in 13 countries with his wife Billi, he donated $250 million toward what was to become Georgia Aquarium. Corporate contributions totaling an additional $40 millionv allowed the Aquarium to open debt free. Jeff Swanagan, the Aquarium's founding president and executive director until 2008 is largely credited with the creation of the aquarium, from the design of the structure to the procurement of animals for the exhibits. The Aquarium is in downtown Atlanta on land donated by The Coca-Cola Company, just north of Centennial Olympic Park and near the Georgia Dome, the Georgia World Congress Center, Philips Arena, and CNN Center. Its blue metal-and-glass exterior is meant to evoke a giant ark breaking through a wave. The world's largest since its opening in November 2005, the Aquarium encompasses 550,000 square feet (5.1 ha; 13 acres) of covered space; its tanks hold 8,000,000 US gallons (30,000 m3) of fresh and salt water. The 16,400 square feet (1,520 m2) Oceans Ballroom accommodates 1100 seated guests (1600 standing) and features two 10 by 28 feet (3.0 m × 8.5 m) windows into whale shark and beluga whale exhibits. After 27 months of construction the Aquarium opened on November 21, 2005, with 60 animal habitats. Though the non-profit Aquarium's admission charges are among the highest in the United States, attendance has far exceeded expectations, with one million visitors in the first hundred days, three million by August 2006, five million by May 2007, and ten million by June 2009. The Aquarium is part of the Smithsonian Affiliations program. The Georgia Aquarium contains between 100,000 and 120,000 fish and other sea creatures, representing more than five hundred species. The Aquarium is the only institution outside of Asia housing whale sharks, which are kept in a 6.3-million-US-gallon (24,000 m3) tank the Aquarium as a whole was designed around the whale shark exhibit. Their importation from Taiwan (by air, truck, and boat) had never been attempted previously. They were taken from Taiwan's annual fishing kill quota, under which they would have been eaten had they not been purchased by the Aquarium. The Aquarium's most famous specimens were four young whale sharks from Taiwan named Ralph, Norton, Alice and Trixie, after the primary characters from The Honeymooners. Ralph and Norton died in 2007 but that same year the Aquarium received two more whale sharks (Taroko, commemorating Taroko Gorge National Park, and Yushan after Taiwan's Jade Mountain) just before a ban on capture of that species took effect. When Georgia exhibited great hammerhead sharks, it was one of only two aquaria in the United States with this species. The aquarium has also been home to as many as five 11-foot (3 m) beluga whales at once. Males Nico and Gasper, acquired from Mexico, were joined by three females on breeding loan from the New York Aquarium: Marina, Natasha, and her daughter, Maris. After Gasper and Marina died in 2007, the belugas were transferred to SeaWorld San Antonio where Nico died in 2009. In 2010 Maris and a new male, Beethoven, were returned to the Aquarium while Natasha remains with a potential mate in San Antonio. Two young belugas, Grayson (male) and Qinu (female), also from San Antonio, were added in November 2010. A manta ray, Nandi, which had been accidentally caught in nets protecting the South African coast from sharks, joined the Ocean Voyager exhibit in 2008 as the first manta ray on display in the country; the Aquarium is one of only four sites in the world displaying one. A second manta ray, Tallulah, was added in September 2009, joined in 2010 by a 8-foot (2.4 m) female named Billi, and later by a 9 feet (2.7 m), 265 pounds (120 kg) male. The aquarium's animals are displayed in six different galleries: Georgia Explorer, Tropical Diver, Ocean Voyager, Cold Water Quest, River Scout, and Dolphin Tales. Each corresponds to a specific environment. To the left as one enters the aquarium is the Georgia Explorer exhibit, geared especially towards children. It features a number of touch tanks with rays and sharks as well as exhibits featuring sea turtles and the wildlife of Gray's Reef a National Marine Sanctuary off the Georgia Coast.
America's Largest Aquarium (Georgia Aquarium Tour)
My tour of Georgia Aquarium, the largest public aquarium in the United States and one of the largest in the world, featuring more than 10 million total gallons of water and 6 million gallons in a single tank.
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Georgia Aquarium - Atlanta
Georgia Aquarium in Downtown Atlanta seemed like the perfect way to spend our Sunday We had such a great time and were blown away by the beautiful exhibits! No wonder they say it is the United States #1 Aquarium. We could not believe just how big the Whale Sharks and Rays were.
Ian loved spending time in front of the jelly fish tanks because they are his favorite. And we all enjoyed seeing the Beluga Whales swimming and playing.
But nothing could have prepared us for the size of the Albino American Alligator. They were huge!!!
And how cute were those penguins? Whoever thought you could take a selfie with an African Penguin?
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Georgia Aquarium main atrium, Atlanta, Georgia, United States, North America
The Georgia Aquarium houses 120,000 animals, representing 500 species, in 8.5 million US gallons (32,000 m3) of marine and fresh water; it was the world's largest aquarium when it opened in 2005. Businessman Bernard Marcus credits his 60th birthday dinner, held at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, with inspiring him to build a great aquarium for Atlanta; his subsequent $250 million donation provided the bulk of the money needed to build and stock the new facility. The Aquarium's notable specimens include four young whale sharks, four beluga whales, eleven bottlenose dolphins and four manta rays. In November 2001 Bernard Marcus announced his vision of presenting Atlanta with an aquarium that would encourage both education and economic growth. After visiting 56 aquariums in 13 countries with his wife Billi, he donated $250 million toward what was to become Georgia Aquarium. Corporate contributions totaling an additional $40 millionv allowed the Aquarium to open debt free. Jeff Swanagan, the Aquarium's founding president and executive director until 2008 is largely credited with the creation of the aquarium, from the design of the structure to the procurement of animals for the exhibits. The Aquarium is in downtown Atlanta on land donated by The Coca-Cola Company, just north of Centennial Olympic Park and near the Georgia Dome, the Georgia World Congress Center, Philips Arena, and CNN Center. Its blue metal-and-glass exterior is meant to evoke a giant ark breaking through a wave. The world's largest since its opening in November 2005, the Aquarium encompasses 550,000 square feet (5.1 ha; 13 acres) of covered space; its tanks hold 8,000,000 US gallons (30,000 m3) of fresh and salt water. The 16,400 square feet (1,520 m2) Oceans Ballroom accommodates 1100 seated guests (1600 standing) and features two 10 by 28 feet (3.0 m × 8.5 m) windows into whale shark and beluga whale exhibits. After 27 months of construction the Aquarium opened on November 21, 2005, with 60 animal habitats. Though the non-profit Aquarium's admission charges are among the highest in the United States, attendance has far exceeded expectations, with one million visitors in the first hundred days, three million by August 2006, five million by May 2007, and ten million by June 2009. The Aquarium is part of the Smithsonian Affiliations program. The Georgia Aquarium contains between 100,000 and 120,000 fish and other sea creatures, representing more than five hundred species. The Aquarium is the only institution outside of Asia housing whale sharks, which are kept in a 6.3-million-US-gallon (24,000 m3) tank the Aquarium as a whole was designed around the whale shark exhibit. Their importation from Taiwan (by air, truck, and boat) had never been attempted previously. They were taken from Taiwan's annual fishing kill quota, under which they would have been eaten had they not been purchased by the Aquarium. The Aquarium's most famous specimens were four young whale sharks from Taiwan named Ralph, Norton, Alice and Trixie, after the primary characters from The Honeymooners. Ralph and Norton died in 2007 but that same year the Aquarium received two more whale sharks (Taroko, commemorating Taroko Gorge National Park, and Yushan after Taiwan's Jade Mountain) just before a ban on capture of that species took effect. When Georgia exhibited great hammerhead sharks, it was one of only two aquaria in the United States with this species. The aquarium has also been home to as many as five 11-foot (3 m) beluga whales at once. Males Nico and Gasper, acquired from Mexico, were joined by three females on breeding loan from the New York Aquarium: Marina, Natasha, and her daughter, Maris. After Gasper and Marina died in 2007, the belugas were transferred to SeaWorld San Antonio where Nico died in 2009.
Whale Shark, Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, Georgia, United States, North America
The whale shark, Rhincodon typus, is a slow-moving filter feeding shark and the largest extant fish species. The largest confirmed individual had a length of 12.65 meters (41.50 ft) and a weight of more than 21.5 metric tons (47,000 lb), and there are unconfirmed reports of considerably larger whale sharks. Claims of individuals over 14 meters (46 ft) long and weighing at least 30 metric tons (66,000 lb) are not uncommon. The whale shark holds many records for sheer size in the animal kingdom, most notably being by far the largest living non-mammalian vertebrate, rivaling many of the largest dinosaurs in weight. It is the sole member of the genus Rhincodon and the family, Rhincodontidae (called Rhiniodon and Rhinodontidae before 1984), which belongs to the subclass Elasmobranchii in the class Chondrichthyes. The species originated approximately 60 million years ago. The whale shark is found in tropical and warm oceans and lives in the open sea with a lifespan of about 70 years. Although whale sharks have very large mouths, as filter feeders they feed mainly, though not exclusively, on plankton, which are microscopic plants and animals. However, the BBC program Planet Earth filmed a whale shark feeding on a school of small fish. The same documentary showed footage of a whale shark timing its arrival to coincide with the mass spawning of fish shoals and feeding on the resultant clouds of eggs and sperm. The species was distinguished in April 1828 after the harpooning of a 4.6 metres (15.1 ft) specimen in Table Bay, South Africa. Andrew Smith, a military doctor associated with British troops stationed in Cape Town, described it the following year. The name whale shark comes from the fish's physiology, being as large as some species of whales and also a filter feeder like many whale species. The whale shark inhabits all tropical and warm-temperate seas. Primarily pelagic, seasonal feeding aggregations occur at several coastal sites such as the southern and eastern parts of South Africa; Gladden Spit in Belize; Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia; Great Rann of Kutch in India; Útila in Honduras; Southern Leyte. Donsol, Pasacao and Batangas in the Philippines; off Isla Mujeres and Isla Holbox in Yucatan, Mexico; Ujung Kulon National Park in Indonesia; Nosy Be in Madagascar Off Tofo Reef near Inhambane in Mozambique, and the Tanzanian islands of Mafia, Pemba, Zanzibar and, very rarely, Eilat, Israel and Aqaba, Jordan. Although typically seen offshore, it has been found closer to land, entering lagoons or coral atolls, and near the mouths of estuaries and rivers. Its range is generally restricted to about ±30° latitude. It is capable of diving to depths of at least 1,286 metres (4,219 ft), and is migratory. On 7 February 2012, a large whale shark was found floating 150 kilometres (93 mi) off the coast of Karachi, Pakistan. The length of the specimen was said to be between 11 and 12 metres (36 and 39 ft), with a weight of around 7,000 kilograms (15,000 lb). In 2011 the largest aggregation of whale sharks ever recorded was reported from the Yucatan coast of Mexico, in which more than 400 animals gathered in one place to feed on spawn from the little tunny, Euthynnus alletteratus. As a filter feeder it has a capacious mouth which can be up to 1.5 metres (4.9 ft) wide and contains 10 filter pads and between 300 and 350 rows of tiny teeth. It has five large pairs of gills. Two small eyes are located towards the front of the shark's wide, flat head. The body is mostly grey with a white belly; three prominent ridges run along each side of the animal and the skin is marked with a checkerboard of pale yellow spots and stripes. These spots are unique to each individual and are useful for counting populations. Its skin can be up to 10 centimetres (3.9 in) thick. The shark has a pair each of dorsal fins and pectoral fins. Juveniles' tails have a larger upper than lower fin while the adult tail becomes semi-lunate (crescent-shaped). Spiracles are just behind the eyes. The whale shark is the largest non-cetacean animal in the world. The average size of adult whale sharks is estimated at 9.7 metres (31.82 ft) and 9 tonnes (20,000 lb). The largest verified specimen was caught on 11 November 1947, near Baba Island, in Karachi, Pakistan. It was 12.65 metres (41.50 ft) long, weighed more than 21.5 tonnes (47,000 lb), and had a girth of 7 metres (23.0 ft). Stories exist of vastly larger specimens quoted lengths of 18 metres (59 ft) and 45.5 tonnes (100,000 lb) are not uncommon in the popular shark literature -- but no scientific records support their existence. In 1868 the Irish natural scientist Edward Perceval Wright obtained several small whale shark specimens in the Seychelles, but claimed to have observed specimens in excess of 15 metres (49.2 ft), and tells of reports of specimens surpassing 21 metres (68.9 ft).
Manta Ray, Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, Georgia, United States, North America
Manta rays are large cartilaginous fishes belonging to the genus Manta. Historically, they were classified as one species, but since 2010 two species have been recognized: Manta birostris (the giant manta ray) and Manta alfredi (the reef manta ray). They are recognized by their large bodies (reaching 7 m or 23 ft in width), triangular pectoral fins, horn-shaped cephalic fins and large, forward-facing mouths. They can be found in temperate, subtropical and tropical waters in much of the world ocean. Mantas are classified among the Elasmobranchii, the sharks and rays, and are placed in the eagle ray family Myliobatidae. They first appeared in the fossil record in the Oligocene but their cartilaginous skeletons do not preserve well and few fossils have been found. Both species are typically pelagic; M. alfredi tends to be resident and coastal while M. birostris migrates across open oceans, singly or in groups. They are filter feeders and eat large quantities of zooplankton which they scoop up through their wide open mouths as they swim. Their breeding habits have been little studied, but the female manta normally carries a single pup for over a year before giving birth to an offspring already nearly two metres wide. Both species are listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Anthropogenic threats to mantas include pollution, becoming entangled in fishing nets and direct harvesting by fisheries. They have become a target species caught for the use of their gill rakers in Chinese medicine, and this along with their slow reproductive rate, puts them at risk of overexploitation. They are protected in international waters by the Convention on Migratory Species of Wild Animals but are more vulnerable closer to shore. Areas where mantas congregate are popular with tourists but because of their size, only a small number of mantas are found in aquariums around the world. In general, these large fish inhabit the open ocean and are both seldom seen and difficult to study. Manta rays are Chondrichthyes, cartilaginous fish with tough cartilage rather than bone in their skeletons. The group is among the Elasmobranchii (sharks and rays), in the division Batoidea (rays and skates). It used to be thought that batoids evolved from sharks, but molecular studies have shown that instead they share a common ancestor with the sharks. The genus Manta is part of the eagle and manta ray family Myliobatidae, where it is grouped in the subfamily Mobulidae along with the devil rays. The mouths of Mobulids lie on the underside of the head, rather than right at the front as in Mantids. The genus Manta was first described in 1829 by Bancroft. After a convoluted history during which ten names were used for the genus and twenty five for the species, all were eventually treated as synonyms of the single species Manta birostris. The early view that black and white mantas were different species was further discounted following a study of mitochondrial DNA in 2001, although this did show that west Pacific mantas formed one clade, east Pacific and some Caribbean mantas formed another, and the remaining Caribbean mantas formed a third. A study made in 2009 was based on morphology, including color, meristic variation, spine, dermal denticles (tooth-like scales) and teeth. Two distinct species emerged: M. alfredi, up to 5.5 m (18 ft) in width and found in the Indo-Pacific and tropical east Atlantic, and the larger M. birostris, found throughout tropical, subtropical and warm temperate oceans and growing to at least 7 m (23 ft). The former is more coastal while the latter is more ocean-going (pelagic) and possibly migratory. Both these species occur in the normal black color with a rare white morph, so color alone cannot be used to distinguish them. A third possible species, preliminarily called Manta sp. cf. birostris, reaches at least 6 m (20 ft) in width, and is known from the tropical west Atlantic, including the Caribbean. Both it and M. birostris occur together (sympatry), in agreement with the finding of two Caribbean clades in earlier studies of mtDNA. Studies in the oceans around Japan in 2010 confirmed the morphological and genetic differences between M. birostris and M. alfredi.
Georgia Aquarium - Atlanta, Georgia, United States
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Georgia Aquarium Atlanta
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Travel blogs from Georgia Aquarium:
- ... As a rule we are pretty much against animals of any kind in captivity but as far as aquariums go, the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta kicks ass ...
- ... So we decided to go to the new Georgia Aquarium in downtown Atlanta ...
- ... 81S to Asheville, and after a brief respite (thanks Mom and Michelle for the cinnamon rolls) continued on to Atlanta where we visited the new Georgia Aquarium whose main attractions are the whale sharks (is it a whale? is it a shark?) and the beluga ...
- ... first we had to make a small detour We decided to make the 6 hour drive from Myrtle Beach airport to Atlanta for the soul reason of going to the Georgia Aquarium, which if you have ever talked to Jon before he has probably mentioned that it is the best ...
Read these blogs and more at:
- Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Photos in this video:
- The Goliath Grouper, Georgia Aquarium by Shaneandsam from a blog titled Atlanta, GA
- Sand Tiger Sharks, Georgia Aquarium by Shaneandsam from a blog titled Atlanta, GA
- Outside Georgia Aquarium by Rama0999 from a blog titled At Lanta
- Georgia Aquarium by Rama0999 from a blog titled At Lanta
Jellyfishes, Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, Georgia, United States, North America
Jellyfish or jellies are the major non-polyp form of individuals of the phylum Cnidaria. They are typified as free-swimming marine animals consisting of a gelatinous umbrella-shaped bell and trailing tentacles. The bell can pulsate for locomotion, while stinging tentacles can be used to capture prey. Jellyfish are found in every ocean, from the surface to the deep sea. A few jellyfish inhabit freshwater. Large, often colorful, jellyfish are common in coastal zones worldwide. Jellyfish have roamed the seas for at least 500 million years, and possibly 700 million years or more, making them the oldest multi-organ animal. The term medusa was coined by Linnaeus in 1752, alluding to the tentacled head of Medusa in Greek mythology. This term refers exclusively to the non-polyp life-stage which occurs in many cnidarians, which is typified by a large pulsating gelatinous bell with long trailing tentacles. All medusa-producing species belong to the sub-phylum Medusozoa. The English popular name jellyfish has been in use since 1796. It has traditionally also been applied to other animals sharing a superficial resemblance, for example ctenophores (members from another phylum of common, gelatinous and generally transparent or translucent, free-swimming planktonic carnivores now known as comb jellies) were included as jellyfishes. Even some scientists include the phylum ctenophora when they are referring to jellyfish. Other scientists prefer to use the more all-encompassing term gelatinous zooplankton, when referring to these, together with other soft-bodied animals in the water column. As jellyfish are not vertebrates, let alone true fish, the word jellyfish is considered by some to be a misnomer. Public aquariums may use the terms jellies or sea jellies instead. Some sources may use the term jelly to refer to organisms in this taxon, as jellyfish may be considered inappropriate. Many textbooks and sources refer to only scyphozoa as true jellyfish. A group of jellyfish is sometimes called a bloom or a swarm. Bloom is usually used for a large group of jellyfish that gather in a small area, but may also have a time component, referring to seasonal increases, or numbers beyond what was expected. Another collective name for a group of jellyfish is a smack, although this term is not commonly used by scientists who study jellyfish. Jellyfish are bloomy by nature of their life cycles, being produced by their benthic polyps usually in the spring when sunshine and plankton increase, so they appear rather suddenly and often in large numbers, even when an ecosystem is in balance. Using swarm usually implies some kind of active ability to stay together, which a few species such as Aurelia, the moon jelly, demonstrate. Medusa jellyfish may be classified as scyphomedusae (true jellyfish), stauromedusae (stalked jellyfish), cubomedusae (box jellyfish), or hydromedusae, according to which clade their species belongs. In biology, a medusa (plural: medusae) is a form of cnidarian in which the body is shaped like an umbrella, in contrast with polyps. Medusae vary from bell-shaped to the shape of a thin disk, scarcely convex above and only slightly concave below. The upper or aboral surface is called the exumbrella and the lower surface is called the subumbrella; the mouth is located on the lower surface, which may be partially closed by a membrane extending inward from the margin (called the velum). The digestive cavity consists of the gastrovascular cavity and radiating canals which extend toward the margin; these canals may be simple or branching, and vary in number from few to many. The margin of the disk bears sensory organs and tentacles as its said. German biologist Ernst Haeckel popularized medusae through his vivid illustrations, particularly in Kunstformen der Natur. Most jellyfish do not have specialized digestive, osmoregulatory, central nervous, respiratory, or circulatory systems. The manubrium is a stalk-like structure hanging down from the centre of the underside, with the mouth at its tip. This opens into the gastrovascular cavity, where digestion takes place and nutrients are absorbed. It is joined to the radial canals which extend to the margin of the bell. Jellyfish do not need a respiratory system since their skin is thin enough that the body is oxygenated by diffusion. They have limited control over movement, but can use their hydrostatic skeleton to navigate through contraction-pulsations of the bell-like body; some species actively swim most of the time, while others are mostly passive. The body is composed of over 95% water; most of the umbrella mass is a gelatinous material the jelly called mesoglea which is surrounded by two layers of protective skin.
GEORGIA AQUARIUM | ATLANTA, GEORGIA | THINGS TO DO IN ATLANTA
Atlanta Georgia is home to one of our absolute favourite aquarium in the United States. If you visit the capital of Georgia, this is a must see! When visiting Atlanta with kids, stop in and see all of the amazing sea life at this spectacular aquarium.
Beluga Whale, Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, Georgia, United States, North America
The beluga or white whale, Delphinapterus leucas, is an Arctic and sub-Arctic cetacean. It is one of two members of the family Monodontidae, along with the narwhal, and the only member of the genus Delphinapterus. This marine mammal is commonly referred to simply as the beluga or sea canary due to its high-pitched twitter. Using the term white whale to refer to belugas is, in the strictest sense, erroneous, as the term whale is usually applied to the Mysticeti (baleen whales) and not to toothed cetaceans which belong to the suborder Odontoceti, which also includes dolphins and porpoises. It is adapted to life in the Arctic, so has a number of anatomical and physiological characteristics that differentiate it from other cetaceans. Amongst these are its unmistakable all-white colour and the absence of a dorsal fin. It possesses a distinctive protuberance at the front of its head which houses an echolocation organ called the melon, which in this species is large and plastic (deformable). The beluga's body size is between that of a dolphin's and a true whale's, a male can be up to 5.5 m (18 ft) long and it can weigh up to 1,600 kg (3,500 lb). This whale has a stocky body; it has the greatest percentage of blubber. Its sense of hearing is highly developed and it possesses echolocation, which allows it to move about and find blowholes under sheet ice. Belugas are gregarious and they form groups of up to 10 animals on average, although during the summer months, they can gather in the hundreds or even thousands in estuaries and shallow coastal areas. They are slow swimmers, but they can dive down to 700 m (2,300 ft) below the surface. They are opportunistic feeders and their diets vary according to their locations and the season. They mainly eat fish, crustaceans and other deep-sea invertebrates. The majority of belugas live in the arctic and the seas and coasts around North America, Russia and Greenland; their worldwide population is thought to number around 150,000 individuals. They are migratory, the majority of the groups spend the winter around the arctic ice cap, but when the sea ice melts in summer, they move to warmer river estuaries and coastal areas. Some populations are sedentary and do not migrate over great distances during the year. The native peoples of North America and Russia have hunted belugas for many centuries. They were also hunted commercially during the 19th century and part of the 20th century. Whale hunting has been under international control since 1973. Currently, only certain Eskimo groups are allowed to carry out subsistence hunting of belugas. Other threats include natural predators (polar bears and killer whales), contamination of rivers, and infectious diseases. From a conservation perspective, the beluga was placed on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List in 2008 as being near threatened; however, the subpopulation from the Cook Inlet in Alaska is considered Critically Endangered and is under the protection of the United States' Endangered Species Act. Of seven Canadian beluga populations, the two inhabiting eastern Hudson Bay and Ungava Bay are listed as endangered.
Belugas are one of the cetaceans most commonly kept in captivity in aquaria and wildlife parks in North America, Europe and Asia; they are popular with the public due to their colour and expressivity. The beluga was first described in 1776 by Peter Simon Pallas. It is a member of the Monodontidae family, which is in turn part of the toothed whale suborder. The Irrawaddy dolphin was once placed in the same family; however, recent genetic evidence suggests these dolphins actually belong to the Delphinidae family. The narwhal is the only other species within the Monodontidae besides the beluga. A skull has been discovered with intermediate characteristics supporting the hypothesis that hybridization is possible between these two families. he name of the genus, Delphinapterus, means dolphin without fin dolphin and απτερος (apterus), without fin) and the species name leucas means white (from the Greek λευκας (leucas), white).
Sea otter, Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, Georgia, United States, North America
The sea otter is a marine mammal native to the coasts of the northern and eastern North Pacific Ocean. Adult sea otters typically weigh between 14 and 45 kg (31 and 99 lb), making them the heaviest members of the weasel family, but among the smallest marine mammals. Unlike most marine mammals, the sea otter's primary form of insulation is an exceptionally thick coat of fur, the densest in the animal kingdom. Although it can walk on land, the sea otter lives mostly in the ocean. The sea otter inhabits offshore environments, where it dives to the sea floor to forage. It preys mostly on marine invertebrates such as sea urchins, various molluscs and crustaceans, and some species of fish. Its foraging and eating habits are noteworthy in several respects. First, its use of rocks to dislodge prey and to open shells makes it one of the few mammal species to use tools. In most of its range, it is a keystone species, controlling sea urchin populations which would otherwise inflict extensive damage to kelp forest ecosystems. Its diet includes prey species that are also valued by humans as food, leading to conflicts between sea otters and fisheries. Sea otters, whose numbers were once estimated at 150,000-300,000, were hunted extensively for their fur between 1741 and 1911, and the world population fell to 1,000-2,000 individuals living in a fraction of their historic range. A subsequent international ban on hunting, conservation efforts, and reintroduction programs into previously populated areas have contributed to numbers rebounding, and the species now occupies about two-thirds of its former range. The recovery of the sea otter is considered an important success in marine conservation, although populations in the Aleutian Islands and California have recently declined or have plateaued at depressed levels. For these reasons, the sea otter remains classified as an endangered species. The sea otter is diurnal. It has a period of foraging and eating in the morning, starting about an hour before sunrise, then rests or sleeps in mid-day. Foraging resumes for a few hours in the afternoon and subsides before sunset, and a third foraging period may occur around midnight. Females with pups appear to be more inclined to feed at night. Observations of the amount of time a sea otter must spend each day foraging range from 24 to 60%, apparently depending on the availability of food in the area. Sea otters spend much of their time grooming, which consists of cleaning the fur, untangling knots, removing loose fur, rubbing the fur to squeeze out water and introduce air, and blowing air into the fur. To casual observers, it appears as if the animals are scratching, but they are not known to have lice or other parasites in the fur. When eating, sea otters roll in the water frequently, apparently to wash food scraps from their fur. Sea otters are polygynous: males have multiple female partners. However, temporary pair-bonding occurs for a few days between a female in estrus and her mate. Mating takes place in the water and can be rough, the male biting the female on the muzzle which often leaves scars on the nose and sometimes holding her head under water. Births occur year-round, with peaks between May and June in northern populations and between January and March in southern populations. Gestation appears to vary from four to twelve months, as the species is capable of delayed implantation followed by four months of pregnancy. In California, sea otters usually breed every year, about twice as often as those in Alaska.Birth usually takes place in the water and typically produces a single pup weighing 1.4 to 2.3 kg (3 to 5 lb). Twins occur in 2% of births; however, usually only one pup survives. At birth, the eyes are open, ten teeth are visible, and the pup has a thick coat of baby fur. Mothers have been observed to lick and fluff a newborn for hours; after grooming, the pup's fur retains so much air, the pup floats like a cork and cannot dive. The fluffy baby fur is replaced by adult fur after about 13 weeks. Nursing lasts six to eight months in Californian populations and four to twelve months in Alaska, with the mother beginning to offer bits of prey at one to two months. The milk from a sea otter's two abdominal nipples is rich in fat and more similar to the milk of other marine mammals than to that of other mustelids. A pup, with guidance from its mother, practices swimming and diving for several weeks before it is able to reach the sea floor. Initially, the objects it retrieves are of little food value, such as brightly colored starfish and pebbles.
Georgia Aquarium Atlanta (USA) - Ocean Voyager
Piranahas, Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, Georgia, United States, North America
A piranha or piraña is a member of family Characidae in order Characiformes, an omnivorous freshwater fish that inhabits South American rivers. In Venezuela, they are called caribes. They are known for their sharp teeth and a voracious appetite for meat. Piranhas belong to the subfamily Serrasalminae, which includes closely related omnivorous fish such as pacus. Traditionally, only the four genera Pristobrycon, Pygocentrus, Pygopristis and Serrasalmus are considered to be true piranhas, due to their specialized teeth. However, a recent analysis showed that, if the piranha group is to be monophyletic, it should be restricted to Serrasalmus, Pygocentrus and part of Pristobrycon, or expanded to include these taxa plus Pygopristis, Catoprion, and Pristobrycon striolatus. Pygopristis was found to be more closely related to Catoprion than the other three piranha genera. The total number of piranha species is unknown and contested, and new species continue to be described. Estimates range from fewer than 30 to more than 60. Piranhas are found in the Amazon basin, in the Orinoco, in rivers of the Guyanas, in the Paraguay-Paraná, and the São Francisco River systems. Some species of piranha have broad geographic ranges, occurring in more than one of the major basins mentioned above, whereas others appear to have more limited distributions. Aquarium piranhas have been introduced into parts of the United States, with specimens occasionally found in the Potomac River, Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri and even as far north as Lake Winnebago in Wisconsin, although they typically do not survive cold winters. Two girls fishing in a pond on Staten Island, New York City, caught a red-bellied piranha. Piranhas have also been discovered in the Kaptai Lake in southeast Bangladesh. Research is being carried out to establish how piranhas have moved to such distant corners of the world from their original habitat. Some rogue exotic fish traders are thought to have released them in the lake to avoid being caught by anti-poaching forces. Piranhas were also spotted in the Lijiang River in China. Piranhas are normally about 14 to 26 cm long (5.5 to 10.25 inches), although some specimens have been reported to be up to 43 cm (17.0 inches) in length. Serrasalmus, Pristobrycon, Pygocentrus and Pygopristis are most easily recognized by their unique dentition. All piranhas have a single row of sharp teeth in both jaws; the teeth are tightly packed and interlocking (via small cusps) and are used for rapid puncture and shearing. Individual teeth are typically broadly triangular, pointed and blade-like (flat in profile). There is minor variation in the number of cusps; in most species, the teeth are tricuspid with a larger middle cusp which makes the individual teeth appear markedly triangular. The exception is Pygopristis, which has pentacuspid teeth and a middle cusp usually only slightly larger than the other cusps. In the scale-eating Catoprion, the shape of their teeth is markedly different and the premaxillary teeth are in two rows, as in most other serrasalmines. Piranhas are important ecological components of their native environments. Although largely restricted to lowland drainages, these fish are widespread and inhabit diverse habitats within both lotic and lentic environments. Some piranha species are abundant locally, and multiple species often occur together. As both predators and scavengers, piranhas influence the local distribution and composition of fish assemblages. Certain piranha species consume large quantities of seeds, but unlike the related Colossoma and Piaractus, herbivorous piranhas thoroughly masticate and entirely devour all seeds eaten and consequently do not function as dispersers. Piranha have a reputation as ferocious predators that hunt their prey in schools. Recent research, however, which started off with the premise that they school as a means of cooperative hunting, discovered that they are timid fish that schooled for protection from their own predators, such as cormorants, caimans, and dolphins. Piranhas are basically like regular fish with large teeth. Research on the species Serrasalmus aff. brandtii and Pygocentrus nattereri in Viana Lake, which is formed during the wet season when the Rio Pindare (a tributary of the Rio Mearim) floods, has shown that these species eat vegetable matter at some stages in their life; they are not strictly carnivorous fish. Piranhas lay their eggs in pits dug during the breeding and swim around to protect them. Newly hatched young feed on zooplankton, and eventually move on to small fish once large enough. Attacks resulting in deaths are recurring in the Amazon basin.
Georgia Aquarium Atlanta USA The largest in the World
Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta,GA,USA,is the largest aquarium in the World. With 32,000,000 litres,120,000 fish and sea creatures, 500 different species ,opened in 2005.
The Georgia Aquarium!!
We went to Atlanta Georgia for a few days and during our stay we visited the Georgia Aquarium! This is the largest aquarium in the United States, so Crystal was really looking forward to this trip!
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360 View of Feeding Whale Sharks at Georgia Aquarium!
Get a first-ever 360 view of what it's like to feed the largest fish in the world - whale sharks - right here in Georgia Aquarium's Ocean Voyager habitat!
Georgia Aquarium Atlanta
Biggest indoor aquarium is situated in the center of Atlanta.
Atlanta Georgia Aquarium World's Largest
The Georgia Aquarium is a public aquarium in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. It houses more than 100,000 animals, representing 500 species, all of which reside in 10 million US gallons (38,000 m3) of marine and fresh water, and was the world's largest aquarium when it opened in 2005.
Llewellyn, Juliana-Indigo Eyes, sound recording administered by:
The Orchard Music
The World's Largest Aquarium // Georgia Aquarium // Atlanta GA
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We were in Atlanta GA for work and looked up on some things to do. This came up and we HAD to go see it. This is something you can stare at all day!
The Georgia Aquarium is the world's largest aquarium with more than eight million gallons of water and more aquatic life than any other aquarium.
Inspired by Jon Rawlinson
Music by Sarah Mclachlan-Angel
Shot with a Canon 7d
Shot by: Michael Nguyen
Edited by: Sonny Tang