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FutureStarrthe Georgia Aquarium Whale Shark
A team of experts went in to remove the whale shark, but they could only remove a fin. The animal died later on its own accord. In the meantime, the team was able to catch an even larger whale shark in the process.
For many, aquariums are the best (and only) plausible place to glimpse the world’s largest fish species. Seeing these giants in the wild is possible, but it’s difficult due to their limited population and avoidance of shallow water. Ecotourism has gained popularity in places like Mexico recently (tourists can pay to swim with whale sharks in the wild), it’s only possible because of its proximity to natural feeding grounds.
We were the small fish in a big pond, and whenever any creature hovered in over us, we dropped down onto the floor and gaze upwards. Gazing up at the highway of fish moving overhead, I felt like an air traffic controller at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. One second, a manta ray with his fully extended 16-foot wingspan came soaring past, showing off his soft white underbelly, the next, a whale shark loomed in from the other direction, eclipsing the shimmering indoor lights and turning my world into a deep ocean dark blue. But those were just the big guys—there were also countless trevally, strange guitarfish, zebrafish, jacks and the rare wobbegong. My favorite of all were the gargantuan groupers (as big as me!) that pouted in the corner while I engaged them in a staring contest. (Source: www.nationalgeographic.com)
Cold Water Quest features animals from the polar and temperate regions of the world and contains most of the mammal species in the Aquarium's collection. This exhibit includes beluga whales in an 800,000 US gallons (3,000,000 L) habitat, southern sea otters, Japanese spider crabs, weedy sea dragons, two types of puffins, and African penguins.
The acquisition of the male beluga whales, previously suffering in an inadequate environment, was hailed by Marcus as a prime example of the type of conservation activities the Aquarium should be involved with. Roughly 100 tarpons stranded in a tidal pool at Skidaway Island, off the Georgia coast, were rescued for the collection. Coral used in exhibits at the Aquarium is grown in a collaboration between Georgia Tech and the University of the South Pacific, produced by suspending blocks of pumice over a reef near the village of Tagaqe, Fiji for eight months to allow seaweeds and reef invertebrates to establish colonies. (Source: en.wikipedia.org)