This past weekend Grandma Meredith and I traveled to Atlanta for Francis’ wedding. We decided to head straight from the airport to the Georgia Aquarium!! This aquarium boasts the largest aquatic exhibit in the world (6.3 million gallons!!), the only whale sharks in captivity in the Northern hemisphere, and the only manta ray in captivity in the U.S.. It was definitely impressive. We opted to take the behind-the-scenes tour, which was well worth it! The best part of this tour was seeing them feed the whale sharks (videos below). So cool!! After our tour we visited all the exhibits, which included beluga whales, a coral reef tank complete with a crashing wave, a stingray/bonnethead shark touch tank, and many many many shark and ray species. Check it out!
6.3 million gallon tank from above
Feeding the male whale sharks. The feeders slap their baskets on the water as a signal to the sharks who quickly swim over and gobble up the food. Video below.
The female whale sharks were fed by boat. Look at that mouth!!
Juvenile zebra sharks – the babies have stripes.
Reef tank from above with tons of lighting. You can see the wave-maker spilling out water.
Baby zebra shark. Awwww!
Japanese spider crab – picking his nose
Leafy sea dragon
Beluga whale checking out the people
Great hammerhead shark – caught by Mote Marine Lab in Sarasota, Fl
Whale shark!!! They have 4 total. That’s my inner child in the bottom right corner.
You can pay to scuba dive in this tank at about $300 some a pop. Maybe next time.
Manta ray and grouper
Mating zebra sharks!! We were lucky to see this rarely observed behavior. Male sharks bite onto the pectoral fin of a female shark. Then they usually swim to the bottom to copulate.
So as I mentioned, we were actually in town for a wedding (though you wouldn’t know by looking at my pictures). We stayed at Aunt Sue’s, which is also where the rehearsal dinner was held.
Grandma and I at the rehearsal dinner
All the siblings! You have no idea how hard it was to get them all in the same room at once. It was mayhem!
I really enjoyed seeing everyone and getting to spend time with relatives I rarely see. And I REALLY loved the aquarium! 🙂
Now its back to school. The Fall semester is well underway. I am teaching Anatomy & Physiology Lab again. No classes for me! My main focus is finishing up the manuscript from my 1st dissertation chapter. Its allllmost done. This project is really my baby from start to end, so I am very excited to get it published. Speaking of publications, I am co-author on a short paper that just came out entitled “Commensal Foraging Between Double-crested Cormorants and a Southern Stingray” Click the title to check it out!