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Georgia Aquarium

Our visit to the Georgia Aquarium, was as much, if not more interesting and entertaining for Dyuman...and us too!!! But the apprehension in dyuman's eyes, as he saw the first tank of fish at the entrance, to the wonder and awe, and then, the excitement as he enjoyed the beluga whales, the otters, and other sea creatures in the various sections of the aquarium was a sight for sore eyes...

To say that Dyuman enjoyed himself is an understatement...He was absolutely thrilled to see all the fishes, varying in size and color...and he did learn some new words over there... He kept running here and there, in the crowded hallways, making his way through the crowd so that he can go right to the front and see the fish from close. That's how he learnt to say "woW"!! Listening to people wowing in awe, he also started saying it, as though knowing that it was a reacion to the sight of the wonderful sea creatures in exhibit. He also started saying "sisshh", meaning to say "fish", but not able to pronounce it..but he was pleased that he had added another new word to his growing vocabulary.

The Georgia Aquarium contains between 100,000 to 120,000 fish and other sea creatures, representing more than five hundred species. As we walked through the acrylic tunnel or stand in front of a gigantic acrylic viewing window we felt like were right in the middle of an endless blue sea, mesmerized by thousands of fish swimming overhead. This exhibit also housed whale sharks, the largest fish species in the world. Schools of predatory trevally jacks, squadrons of small and large stingrays, enormous goliath grouper and hammerhead sharks all ply the waters of this captive ocean habitat containing more than six million gallons of saltwater. We were in awe...and so was everybody in the tunnel...

We soon left this section, still amazed by the creatures we had seen, and moved to the "cold water Quest" section which teem with fish and marine mammals. Among these were Beluga whales, Caifornia sea lions, sea otters and African black-footed penguins. There were also other varieties of animals like Australian sea dragons, giant pacific octopus, garibaldi damselfish and japanese spider crabs. But the centre of attraction was, of course, the Beluga whales, four of them, namely Nico, Natasha, Marina, and 

Maris. Dyuman was shouting with joy as they swam near to the acrylic glass, one of them even touching the glass as it went by on one occasion...

Next, we visited the River Scout section which also reflects regional environments. It features an overhead river where visitors can see North American fish from the bottom up. In addition to local specimens, exhibits display piranha, electric fish, and other unusual freshwater life. The world's largest freshwater fish, the arapaima, is featured in a large exhibit of Amazonian fish. Accompanying the arapaima is the arawana, a fish with tremendous leaping abilities to catch food items above the water. Electric fish of Africa and South America are presented in aquariums and highlighted in video programs. Nearby, kids can safely "enter" an area filled with piranha and get a close-up look at the razor sharp teeth of these voracious predators. Dyuman chosse the spot to play hide and seek with us, and started running in between the crowded hallways... we had to keep a close eye on him, lest he should wander too far away... But what attracted Dyu most of all here was the highly sociable Asian small-clawed otter.

 

Finally, we went to the Georgia Explorer gallery. It is a highly interactive gallery with touch pools full of horseshoe crabs, sea stars, stingrays and shrimps. Several large habitats feature a loggerhead sea turtle and the fish of Gray's Reef – an underwater area off the Georgia coast designated a National Marine Sanctuary.

When we left the aquarium, we were tired, but satisfied, and really happy that we had such a wonderful time. Dyuman, as we left the aquarium, was fast asleep...smiling...as if he was still enjoyign the sight of the beautiful creatures he now could identify as "fish".

On our way back, we made a stop at the Centennial Olympic Park where we watched some rhythmic water jets, and where Dyuman had his first ever Ice-cream. We also visited the CNN studio Centre.




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