Monday, January 19, 2009

Review: Seattle Aquarium

The Seattle Aquarium is located near the heart of downtown Seattle. It looks, from the outside, to be a cute refurbished warehouse. The inside is rather interesting... the bulk of the aquarium is taken up by two large touch tanks, containing seastars, anemones, urchins, and things like that. Along the back there were some free standing tanks, showing some of the more unusual sea starts, like the basket star. The stars of the main room was definitely the octopus tank and the jelly fish tank. The octopus tank consisted of two large cylinder tanks connected in the center by an "octopus crossing".

The jelly fish tank was a ring that extended below the floor, so that it looked like an arch (from floor level). People could stand in the arch and watch the jellies flow by. They also had a display from the artist Ray Troll on the wall surrounding the main room.

Tucked into the very back of the main room, was a display of the oddities of the sea. There they had Pinecone fish, a dragon fish, a pipe fish, and some other odd looking fish. Coming off of that display was a pacific coral reef display, which had several tanks of coral reef fish.

The fun stuff, in my opinion, was in an annex off the main building. There was more of a focus on the fishes of Puget Sound here, and several tanks which held either fish or invertebrates native to the region. There was also a very large dome tank, filled with rockfish.

Along the out side of the annex were salmon steps, and inside there was a section explaining some of the salmon rearing that they were doing at the aquarium and around the area. The top part was almost completely dedicated to mammals and shorebirds. They had harbor seals, sea and river otters, and (my favorite) fur seals.

I've never seen a fur seal before, so this was rather novel. They look rather like a very large, but cute, water rat (at least the face does). Over all, not a bad aquarium, but be warned that the price is very steep for what it is. At $16 for adults and $10.50 for kids, you may want to look around for some deals. They are a member of AZA, so you can get a discount or free admission if you are a member too. There are also package deals, where you can get into the zoo, a cruise, and some museums for a single price.


Aquarium said...

Nice. I like the idea of an octopus crossing.

rose said...

Not so familiar to me...but very interesting.the impact would be very good to have more gorgious creatures

Judith E. said...

I visited the aquarium after a cruise to Alaska. Can someone tell me the scientific name of the rust-colored basket star on display? Also, please check the label on your flame angelfish. It should be Centropyge for the genus and loriculus for the species.