BALTIMORE, Md. – A new $12.5 million exhibit is coming to the National Aquarium in the summer of 2013. The Blacktip Reef exhibit will replicate a saltwater Indo-Pacific ocean habitat with creatures new to the National Aquarium, such as blacktip reef sharks, whiptail rays and wobbegong sharks.
“Blacktip Reef is going to be an incredible addition to National Aquarium and one that will continue to inspire guests to preserve and protect our oceans,” said John Racanelli, CEO of the National Aquarium. “People travel around the globe to experience reefs in the Indo-Pacific region. Come next summer, they won’t have to travel nearly as far to experience some of the world’s most beautiful and essential aquatic treasures.”
One highlight will be the floor-to-ceiling pop-out viewing window that allows visitors to virtually step inside the exhibit to examine the swimming wildlife and corals up close. The Blacktip Reef exhibit will sit where the current Wings in the Water exhibit resides. Many of those animals will be relocated to the aquarium’s Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit.
The blacktip reef shark that inspired the name of the exhibit feeds in the shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific to feed in the reefs. It is a smaller shark species about six feet in length with distinctive black tips on its fins.
Guests will learn about these colorful creatures through the exhibit’s daily interactive diver presentations and shark feedings. Touchscreen computers will also provide photos, videos and other facts about the reef’s ecosystem. At the end of the exhibit, visitors can share with others on a new interactive wall that displays photos and comments.
For more information, visit www.aqua.org.