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From Warm To Boiling: The National Aquarium in Baltimore Provides Indoor Escapes This Winter

November 20, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

As temperatures drop below 30 degrees and the first snow flurries take hold across the country, travelers are escaping the cold by visiting tropical rainforests, exploring the exotic equatorial waters of the Pacific, and even trekking Down Under among the dangerous wildlife of Australia’s far north river system.

But instead of traveling to the other side of the world in search of this endless summer, the National Aquarium in Baltimore has turned up the heat for the closest experience to visiting the world’s warmest destinations – ranging from 80 to 94 degrees – without leaving the country’s chilly North East.

Warm and wonderful

At a maximum of 80 degrees, the waters of the newly opened Blacktip Reef Exhibit have been meticulously calibrated to replicate the warmth of equatorial waters to sustain the vibrant life, color and activity of an entire coral reef ecosystem. The $12.5 million, 260,000-gallon exhibit is the country’s most comprehensive recreation of an Indo-Pacific reef, featuring 20 sleek and fast-moving blacktip reef sharks and 60 different species of fish including whiprays, camouflaged wobbegong sharks, and perennial aquarium favorite, Calypso, a 500-pound green sea turtle.

Hot, Hot, Hot

Averaging a balmy 84 degrees, the Animal Planet Australia exhibit takes visitors on a journey through northern Australia river gorge with close to 1,800 individual native animals representing 120 species, including freshwater crocodiles, turtles, fishes, snakes, lizards, free-flying birds, and flying foxes. Many of these unique and unusual animals are found only in Australia.

BOILING

Reaching a swealtering 90 degrees, the Upland Tropical Rain Forest is the National Aquarium’s world-renowned rain forest exhibit with a diverse collection of plants and animals from rapidly disappearing habitats, such as golden lion tamarin monkeys, blue-crowned motmot tropical birds, blue poison dart frogs, and linne’s two-toed sloths.

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