Whether coming back home for a while, making travel plans, or looking for something to do in your neighborhood, Birmingham also boasts a variety of experiences with aquatic life as it does in the outdoors, the arts, and gastronomy. Read on about some of our favorite Aquariums in Birmingham.
McWane Science Center
Among its array of educational exhibits, is also one of Birmingham’s better secrets: the collection of aquariums and aquatic habitats at the McWane Science Center. Located on the lower level, a diversity of aquatic flora and fauna reside between the Shark & Ray TouchTank, the River Journey, and the Ocean Journey.
The Ocean Journey is a display of saltwater ecosystems from all over the world, a look into the surroundings and lifestyles of some of McWane Science Center’s most esteemed residents. These include the iconic clownfish, mesmerizing moon jellyfish, and the green moray eel, spurring the imaginations of some of our most feared monsters of science fiction horror. (Ask about their jaws.)
The Cahaba River Tank is with respect to Alabama’s local wealth of wildlife along the Cahaba River, a great way to learn about the wildlife and habitats of Alabama. The Lake Tank features fish endemic to reservoirs and lakes of Alabama; both the Lake Tank and Cahaba River Tank are highly recommended for those with an interest in the nature and outdoors of Alabama. The Coral Tank is the final stop on McWane’s Ocean and River Journeys, into the Coral world of the Indo-Pacific, where visitors can witness brightly colored examples of mutualism.
The Shark & Ray Tank is where the more imposing habitants of the McWane Science Center reside. These include the epaulette sharks and their ‘uniform’ imported from Australia and New Guinea, the white-spotted bamboo sharks and their mysterious, nocturnal ways, the charming southern stingrays and their electrosensitive abilities, and the cow nose rays.
Despite its name, the Birmingham Zoo also should not be ignored for its attention to aquatic life, with a proud community of fishes, amphibians, and reptiles local and exotic. Some of these remarkable icons include the African bullfrog, bumblebee dart frog, Aldabra giant tortoise, diamondback terrapin, alligator snapping turtle, radiated tortoise, American alligator, and peacock eel. Aside from this diversity, there are also a number of unique and memorable experiences visitors can book in advance. These include a trip through the Zoo Labs, the elusive ‘Zookeeper for a Day’ experience, Photography classes with the residents of Birmingham Zoo, and overnight stays to see what the animals get up to at night!
Birmingham Area Parks and Nature
In accordance with Birmingham’s proud appreciation of nature and education in the responsibilities that come with maintaining it, the Birmingham area also has a number of beautiful parks and reserves. Visitors who want to take their experience and inspiration outside of the exhibits can appreciate the beauty of Alabama’s nature in person at Hoover Inverness Nature Park, and Oak Mountain, among myriad streams, ponds, and lakes.
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