The Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga is a
large, very popular public exhibition facility chronicling the course of the
Tennessee River from its origins in the Cove Forests of the Great Smokey
Mountains of Eastern Tennessee down through the mountains, middle reaches,
swamps and lakes to its final passage into the Gulf of Mexico. The Tennessee
Aquarium also displays exhibits of the ‘Rivers of the World,’ beautifully
crafted naturalistic enclosures with a variety of foreign wildlife. It sports
one of the best public collections of both North American and foreign turtles in
the U.S.A. & is a popular tour site for turtle enthusiasts.
Chattanooga is a medium-sized city with a
number of attractions, including Ruby Falls and Rock City. It’s in the Eastern
Time Zone (part of Tennessee is on Eastern time, part on Central time).
The Tennessee Aquarium is open 7 days/week. It
takes about 3 – 4 hours to work your way through it the first time, if you’re
taking photo.s. The permanent exhibit trek starts on top of the building in the
Cove Forest and winds its way down to the ground floor where you pass the gift
shop before exiting. The Tennessee Aquarium also features temporary exhibits on
display for months on end; past exhibits have included a jellyfish exhibit,
Striking Beauties (venomous species of many kinds, from the giant Peruvian
centipede to the black mamba) and at this writing Sea Horses (including both
weedy & leafy sea dragons!). The two temporary exhibits I’ve seen so far were
very enjoyable & you should find out what’s offered when you plan to go.
Let’s take a look at the permanent exhibits. Not all these
tanks are in the exact order you’ll encounter them. Exhibits may change over
time so there’s no guarantee you’ll see a given animal when you go. I apologize
for any photo.s placed in the wrong section; I’ve taken photo.s on several trips
here. By the way, here’s a photography tip; flash glare tends to be awful on
those large cylindrical acrylic tanks. Try to shoot not just at a horizontal
angle, but also downward or strongly upwards (shooting upward you can easily get
an awful flash reflection in the pic).
Entrance – You enter into a large open area. As you head for the main
exhibits, note the huge carapace on the wall. That’s the world’s largest turtle,
Stupendemys geographicus, that inhabited South American rivers 10 million
years ago. This auditorium includes murals (including one of a trio of map
turtles, at least one yellow blotched, that’d make great shirts) & inspirational
sayings (a Kenyan Proverb is quoted, “Treat the earth well. It was not given to
you by your parents. It was loaned to you by your children.” Odds are, you’ll
start out my taking an escalator down to view one of the elaborate temporary
exhibits (Sea Horses at this time), or at least to hit the bath rooms.
Temporary Exhibits – These tend to run for months, even over a year, &
are a very real value-added part of your trip. At the time of this writing, the
current exhibit is ‘Seahorses; Beyond Imagination’ (an impressive series of
artificial reef tanks with fauna from specific regions of the world,) but in the
past Striking Beauties (venomous creatures) and a jelly fish exhibit. I’ll not
dwell on them since they’re temporary, but whatever they’ve got going at the
time, you’ll like it. After you leave the temporary exhibit, you’ll take an
escalator to the Cove Forest exhibit at the top of the building. Over the
escalator are video monitors showing running water, and making running water
sounds. Unless you already hit the bathroom, you’ll have to pee by the time you
get up this.
Cove Forest – Posted literature claims cove forests are shrouded in mist,
showered by almost constant rain and are small, secluded rain forests. Welcome
to the mountainous origin of the Tennessee River. The facility roof has been
modeled to resemble a rich mountain cove forest with a water fall and stream. An
overhead framework covers all this. The area is periodically misted so it may be
‘foggy’ around the otter pool when you pass through. You enter on a walk between
massive rock walls with vegetation & synthetic trees. This leads to the large
otter pool, to the right of which is the water fall & brook trout pool. To your
left are stairs taking you up to a raised area with a log-like terrarium & a
view of the forest exhibit. Their posted information indicates cove forest is
misty & receives almost constant rainfall.
Snake Tank – a forest terrarium featuring a timber rattle snake as well
as Northern copperheads and black rat snakes. Pleasingly set into the stone wall
& designed with a temperate forest motif.
Log Tank – terraria enclosed in a large synthetic ‘dead’ log holding an
Eastern milk snake and a corn snake. The log has a somewhat smooth, muddy look
(which brings fiberglass to mind, but I’m unsure what it’s made of).
Tree Tank – a terrarium built into a synthetic tree holding a Northern
Mountain Stream & Waterfall – includes a large pool for the pair of river
otters (which swim out intermittently), a view of a water fall and a Brook Trout
pool (rainbow, brown & brook trout are listed). The clean, somewhat turbulent
water of this rocky mountain stream/otter pool is just plain beautiful. Some of
the trout have elongated faces resembling salmon. Tucked somewhat out of the way
left of the otter pool is the land enclosure for them, lit by red light.
As you leave, you pass a tank with a variety of richly colored &
beautiful shiners & chubs of varied species. You walk past a tank that lets you
see into the otter pool from underwater. There’s another tank (not pictured in
the gallery) with other small fish, including chubs, and the Northern Spring
Mountain Stream – This long tank duplicates the cold clear high-oxygen
running water of a flowing mountain stream and is densely packed with trout
swimming against the current (& not only trout; the Northern Hog Sucker, White
sucker, river chub, central stoneroller & others are listed).
Mountain Sink – This tank simulates the deep mountain sink (or plunge
pool) regions where water has eroded away softer rock to create deep places
(such as falling water would do at the base of a water fall or rapids). There
are several trout here. It’s a very deep albeit not as ‘big around’ tank with a
rocky posterior wall. The first tank you’ll notice you could drown in…
Discovery Hall – This is a varied collection of interesting U.S. tanks.
Turtle Forum members will want to see the yellow-blotched map turtles. There’s a
brackish water tank with a sub-adult diamondback terrapin as you exit, but it’s
often hidden or otherwise not in good view.
About 4 thickly planted tanks with small fish (sunfish, etc…). These
gorgeous planted tanks are breathtaking & may inspire you to consider a planted
tank of your own.
A swamp tank with a pair of baby alligators. It has large driftwood
sticking out of partially duckweed-covered ‘black water’ with a mulch bottom.
They also have some water hyacinth.
A large cylindrical tank with at least 2 yellow-blotched map turtles, sun
fish and a small gar (they at least used to have a redfin pickerel). This tank
has a central ‘dead wood’ tree/log the turtles move up & down & rest on near the
surface, surrounded by large grass-like plants (?Jungle Valisneria?)
which have a lot of green hair algae on their leaves. The map turtles have a lot
of algae on their shells.
Tree frog tank – with green, gray and barking treefrogs as well as
red-spotted newts. The newts are in the black water & you’ll miss them if you
don’t look. The bottom of the tank contains a few inches of water, again with
some sort of mulch like the alligator tank.
Prawn Tank –
Painted River Prawn (Macrobrachium
carcinus) - Coastal Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, Northern S. America. A simple
shallow tank with a gravel base, designed to be viewed from above.
Hellbender Tank -
alleganiensis). Another shallow, flattened tank designed for view from
A large cylindrical tank with many juvenile paddlefish. I don’t like this
barren tank where they can’t swim far without having to change direction.
Sturgeon Encounter – they swim in a circular exhibit where visitors can
reach in & touch them (feels something like rubbing a dogfish; quite rough). The
water is quite cold.
Brackish Tank – This one has a sub-adult diamondback terrapin and
generally has a somewhat ‘marine’ look. The DBT is often hidden or otherwise
hard to see so getting good photographs is hard.
Delta Country – a huge & gorgeous exhibit duplicating the swamps of the
Southeastern United States. This area displays many native U.S. turtles in
naturalistic habitats, including examples of large female cooters and a massive
male alligator snapper. It is subtly divided into sections (I think 2 and 3 can
be crossed overland; I’m guessing part of the separation is to prevent
Section 1: This swamp setting features basking fallen logs over water
hyacinth and a few feet of water. It features basking map turtles, particularly
females, and even a cooter or two.
Section 2: This section contains basking fallen logs and vegetation but
contains large cooters. I believe I’ve seen the adult alligator in this section;
I think there’s cross-over potential between sections 2 and 3. This is a great
place to take a long, hard look at how long, thick & generally massive adult
female cooters can be, and what sort of habitat one might wish to
Section 3: This section contains a mid-sized American Alligator, a
massive male alligator snapper, 2 female alligator snappers and at least one
large cooter. The acrylic barrier is high enough to prevent any direct contact
between inmates & the public (another lost opportunity for natural selection…).
I believe the alligator snappers are more prone to move out close to the front
acrylic panel when the aquarium first opens in late morning; later you may be
looking at them from a distance. When inactive the male lies with his face down
pointed at the bottom, but when he moves, he is massive. The male & one female
are sometimes unusually white looking, but I think that’s caused by lighting &
water turbidity. Up close , he looks more natural. A take-home lesson is that
while female alligator snappers are significantly larger than commons, male
alligator snappers are much larger still.
Section 4: This section has a large, open area with plenty of open water
and a low acrylic barrier so you can lean over the turtles, basking logs set
along back, and along the far side a lengthy fairly deep narrow strip with
vegetated & driftwood-lined bank. This section has cooters, sliders (RES & YBS),
Southern Painted turtles, chicken turtles, large female Barbour’s map turtles,
razorback musk turtles, wild ducks & other birds (including a purple gallinule).
This tank gives you the true sense of gazing out across pristine swampland, with
enough open water to watch turtles languidly swim about (hoping someone will
feed them). Here you get a sense of just how docile some of those cooters are.
The cooters & Barbour’s maps are the largest turtles, but the Southern Painted
turtles are unusually large, too (although dwarfed by the cooters).
Section 5: This large Palludarium-style enclosure stands independently
set out from the rest. In includes a large ‘pool’ area with basking wood and
stumps, and adjacent land area with plenty of cover. The water & land areas are
both host to numerous bald cypress knobs sticking out of the ground. I have
variously seen varied map turtle species, razorback musk, Mississippi mud & Box
Turtle species (I’ve seen Eastern & Gulf Coast mentioned). They have some
white-oak color phase Gray rat snakes here. They used to have a couple of Timber
Rattlesnakes in here but I didn’t see them my last visit. It’s a good place to
watch male map turtles swim & maps of both genders bask.
Rivers of the World.
Fly River Tank. The Fly River is New Guinea’s longest river. Beautiful
tank featuring many species of rainbow fish, about 3 red-bellied short-necked
turtles (a male if often courting a female) and Fly River Turtles (they used to
have a pair of larger ones; most recently they had about 4 young juveniles
instead). This tank resembles a tropical forest shoreline seen from the river.
Chinese Mountain Stream Tank. A beautiful lush green tank with a
crocodile lizard, pair of black-breasted leaf turtles, Japanese fire-bellied
toads and at least 1 Mandarin newt. Palludarium-type setup with a foggy look.
This tank is serene, & it’s inhabitants a fairly still or slow-moving lot; it’d
make a great relaxing exhibit set into my bedroom wall…
Amazon River Tank (#1). This attractive tank features a variety of pleco.
species amongst others (the freshwater stingray is mentioned, but I didn’t see
one), and overhead vegetation wherein dwells an emerald tree boa. It has a pair
of red-headed Amazon River Turtles. They usually bask & it’s hard to get good
shots, but if you find one swimming about, take many photo.s; a couple of good
ones are worth it.
Amazon River Tank (#2). The red piranha tank; it has a school of the
toothy chaps. A few other fish are included. On an overhead limb one can see a
young anaconda. I’m guessing there are two of the medium-sized Amazon River
tanks because the piranha would eat some of the things in the first exhibit.
Near the end of your aquarium tour you’ll see a massive Flooded Amazon Forest
tank, but that’s a different section.
Zaire River Tank (#1). Noteworthy for the group of dwarf crocodiles. They
look to be about 3-4 feet long each, heavy-boded and toothy. There’s a water
section with fish at the enclosure bottom. Every time I see the croc.s they’re
lying amongst the fallen trees that cover the shore.
Madagascar Rivers Tank. Beautiful tank, albeit I’ve seen no turtles in
it. The fish are fine, but the habitat itself is impressive. My one criticism is
that the central boulder, while beautiful & a very nice centerpiece, seems to
take up a lot of room that could’ve been used for more water. Clearly this tank
needs a turtle.
Tropical Asian Rivers Tank. This beautiful tank has many fish, including
such fish-trade favorites as clown loaches, red-tailed black and rainbow
‘sharks,’ tinfoil barbs, rosy barbs, threespot gourami, etc… It includes at
least 3 turtles; those I saw I believe were Chinese golden thread turtles (and
at my last visit the 3 appeared aggressive toward each other! Biting!), but it’s
supposed to have a 4-eyed turtle & Chinese Red-necked Pond Turtle as well. From
what I’ve seen, if you want to see turtles fight, this might be your tank. This
tank is one of the pretty heavily stocked; I wonder how they maintain water
quality in it…
Nishikigoi Tank. A nice open-water (with forested backing) tank with
several Koi, and a vegetated backdrop with a large wooden log (or simulation of
one) with several large basking Japanese pond turtles.
Surinam Toad & Monkey Treefrog Tank. This tank resembles a tropical rain
forest growing out of a bog; the Surinam pair are apparently aquatic, but the
monkey tree frog sits on an overhead branch. There seems to be a standing
agreement in this tank that nobody moves…
Volga River Tank. This large tank includes several sturgeons, but most
impressive is the massive 8 foot Beluga sturgeon (they can reach 14 feet).
St. Lawrence River Tank. This tank contains salmon, which in coloration
strongly resemble the trout seen earlier, and others (Walleye, golden redhorse,
lake sturgeon, yellow perch, sauger, etc…).
Turtles: Nature’s Living Sculptures (on Level 2).
Large Snake-neck Tank. A few large snake-necks live here; the tank is
rather deep and they tend to hang out in the provided branches near the surface.
They can be aggressive; I’ve seen a large one bite & briefly hold onto another.
Chinese Big-head Turtle Tank. Old reliable. The tank looks like the shore
of a small, clear stream or pool with a steep, rocky tank. It has fairly large,
often flattened rocks are pool bottom substrate. Wedged into the rear right-hand
corner in vertical posture is a sub-adult Chinese Bigheaded turtle. Getting your
camera to focus on this one is very hard; take many pictures if you want
any useful. This turtle almost never moves; it they replaced it with a
taxidermy-rendered mounted one I might not notice.
Flattened Musk Turtle Tank. As reliably hard to photograph as the
bighead. This tank features a fairly shallow water tank with some wood, and the
back wall is a vertical rock wall with a long crevice into which this pair wedge
themselves when they aren’t up for air. Attractive but hard to get a good shot
of; also hard to focus on. Take many shots when you get the chance.
Pancake Tortoise Tank. This pair of sub-adults are small & attractive. I
once saw one on its back & told an employee; I was told they have staff that
routinely check the exhibits for this sort of thing.
Mixed Exotics Tank. This tank has an interesting mix, but I’m not
enthused with the fact it seems to have no dry land area, and the water area is
quite shallow (maybe 3-4 inches deep?). Then again, I’m not that familiar with
their needs. (Spiny turtle, Indochinese box turtle, Chinese three-striped box
turtle, Four-eyed turtle & Keeled box turtle). Some of these guys (i.e.: the
spiny turtles) are quite large.
South American Turtle Tank. This fairly deep tank with a rock wall is set
into the facility wall so you look at it at something of an angle. The black
wood turtles are massive & easy to see. The Meso-American Slider may or may not
come out. The giant musk turtle often crams itself into crevices where you see
nothing but its butt sticking out; if it does come out, snap pics
while you can! There’s supposed to be a red-cheeked mud turtle; I don’t know
about that one.
Leopard Tortoise Exhibit. Nice, fairly spacey-looking little ‘hole in the
wall’ desert exhibit. Brightly lit, as befits a day-time desert setup. The
tortoise has some room to move around, but it still seems a bit cramped to me.
Indian Rivers Tank. This tank includes a rather large Indian spotted pond
turtle (a truly beautiful exotic you won’t likely see in the U.S. pet trade) &
an Indian roofed turtle.
Indian Star Tortoise Tank – a couple about the size of adult box turtles.
Siebenrock’s snake-necked turtle tank – a small tank; I think it should
have more room.
Mata Mata Tank. Basically, a somewhat small sub-adult mata mata lies in a
tasteful, pleasant shallow-water tank. The tank’s a bit small, but I’m under the
impression they’re not a very active species.
Blandings Turtles Tank – a couple of sub-adults swim & bask in this
fairly small shallow-water but tasteful tank. They remind me a bit of box
Juveniles Tank (content varies; most recently 2 young Florida Red-bellies
& a Florida Softshell). This is a small tank. I’ve seen a variety of species in
it over time, from red-bellied short-necks to razorback musk.
New Display of some small turtles; a pair of young spotted turtles, a
pair of Japanese pond turtles, at least one alligator snapper & at least one
black-breasted leaf turtle.
Young Alligator Snapper Tank – this sub-adult is in a tank I consider too
deep but it rests on a large piece of wood near the surface whenever I see it.
It’s my understanding some of them are pretty stationary in the wild so this may
not be quite as bad as it sounds. It may even simulate nature. But this would
NOT be an appropriate setup for an active prowler like the common snapper.
Darter Tank. If you’ve ever wanted to explore the world of these small
freshwater fish, here’s your chance. Species include the greenfin, greenside,
stripetail, rainbow, Savannah, tessellated, redline, snubnose, gilt & tangerine
darters. A ‘logperch’ is also listed.
A Tennessee River Tank – shows varied shiners, daces, central
stoneroller, Northern studfish, Northern hogsucker, creek chub & best of all, a
stripeneck musk turtle (which is very hard to find in this tank & I’ve only seen
it once in several visits).
Gulf of Mexico Tank. A large 88,000 gallon marine tank with a synthetic
reef. Tank inhabitants include a massive green sea turtle, 2 great barracuda, at
least 2 large green moray eels, Bonnethead hammerhead sharks (about 3 feet+
long), a school of Crevalle Jacks, Southern stingray, cow nose ray, yellowtail
snapper, porkfish, blue-striped & other grunts, gray angelfish, 2 large
porcupine puffers, hogfish, triggerfish, angelfish species and many other
species. I corresponded with a source at the Aquarium some time back; it’s my
understanding this tank has four 400 gallon per minute rapid sand filters (kind
of like swimming pool filters) and two 150 gallon per minute protein skimmers
with Venturi ozone injectors. The system return is through 20 feet of
Brentwood-type degassing material. They change about 6,000 gallons per week,
backwash the sand filters, and use municipal water (not R.O. water).
Lake Nickajack Tank. A huge freshwater tank depicting Tennessee’s Lake
Nickajack. Roughly guessing, the tank looks to me to be around as big around as
a house and to vary from perhaps 8 to 30 feet deep. Human divers go in & feed
the animals with a long set of tongs; I’ve seen them feeding squid to the fish.
You approach this tank on 3 levels.
On the first level, you’ll see a shallow region, perhaps 8 feet deep,
with tree roots, a boat dock, a small boat and numerous fish including varied
large gar, buffalo, sunfish, blue gill, varied bass species & others. This is
where you’ll see most of the tank’s turtles; river cooters, RES, map turtles,
etc… Occasionally the large female softshell cruises through. Their display of
species mentions the Eastern Painted turtle, so perhaps one is in there.
On the second level, you view the opposite tank wall & at this point it’s
around 10-20 feet deep & much more open. Here you see massive blue catfish
(perhaps 4 feet long), large hybrid striped bass, adult paddlefish, carp, drum,
and some of the fish & turtles from the first level although the cooters &
sliders don’t seem to frequent this deeper open water as much. You’re looking at
open water backed by a fairly steep rocky background.
On the third level, you’re looking at the same section as the second
level but from another level down. You can see the bottom. The turtles I saw
come down here are softshells (2) and rarely a map turtle. I may’ve seen a
couple of cooters this deep once. The level gives you a view from beneath of
what you saw on level 2. I did observe either a male of small female softy that
preferred to stay wedged into a crack in the rockwork down here, only surfacing
for air. The large female comes down fairly often.
Lake Reelfoot Tank. This tank is about the size of a large bedroom or a
bit larger. According to the posted info. at the Tennessee Aquarium, between
1811 & 1812 a massive series of earthquakes near New Madrid, Missouri led to the
earth heaving so violently along the Mississippi River that in some areas the
ground & riverbed sank 10 feet. The river temporarily reversed & flowed into the
depressions. In Tennessee a 20 mile area sand & became Reelfoot Lake. I’ve been
there; it’s a large lake, most of it under 9 feet deep (and so the littoral zone
covers much more than most water bodies), & the perimeter is densely packed with
plant life. This tank features crappie, paddlefish, sturgeon & other fish but I
haven’t seen turtles in it.
One tank has Yonahlosse Salamanders (Plethodon
yonahlossee) - Appalachian Mtn. Area (Virginia, N.Carolina, TN). There are a
couple of other tanks with other species.
Flooded Amazon Forest Tank. Posted literature states during the rainiest
times of year forest on the flood plain by stand in 20 or 30 feet of water for
weeks at a time. This massive tank has several huge fish & some Amazon turtles.
The tank is about the size of a large living room & I would estimate about 20
feet deep. Medium to large tree trunks provide cover for the animals. It
includes the Giant South American River Turtle, Yellow-spotted Amazon River
Turtle, Spotted-bellied Side-neck Turtle, Geoffroy’s Side-necked Turtle &
Brazilian Slider. The spot-bellies seem to mate a lot when I’m there. Fish
include the massive arapaima, pirapatinga, tambaqui, red tail catfish, tiger
shovelnose catfish, ripsaw catfish, sickleband brycon, barred sorubim, leopard
catfish. Freshwater stinkray are listed but I don’t know if they’re in the tank.
I’ve seen listings for Yellow-spotted Amazon River Turtles & a Brazilian slider
but I don’t know for sure whether they’re in there.
Zaire River Tank – This one features fish (unlike the Rivers of the World
display with the dwarf crocodiles). It has quite a few species, including
spotted tilapia, African butter catfish, Chrysichthys catfish, Silver
Distichodus, Sixbar Distichodus, etc…
Gift Shop. They have some useful offerings like Peterson’s Field Guide to
Reptiles and Amphibians of Eastern/Central North America. But a lot of their
products are what you’d expect at a gift shop; general public populist items,
items aimed at children, stuffed animals, etc… It’s worth browsing.
Some of their offerings are available online.
What’d We Miss?
Water Snakes. I didn’t see any at the Aquarium.
Large acrylic walk-through tunnel through an open ocean exhibit with sand
tiger sharks swimming around you. They don’t have this. There are public
Aquariums at Newport, KY & Gatlinburg, TN, and I believe they each have such a
Links for the Tennessee Aquarium.
Tennessee Aquarium Home Page.
Planning Your Visit. (You can see their weather, buy tickets online, check
the IMAX theater schedule, get directions to the Aquarium, etc…).
Aquarium Membership. I joined; it’s an annual deal, pays for itself in 2 or
3 visits (unlimited free visits within the year), gets you in the Members’
Entrance around the side (without having to wait in line to buy tickets in a
nearby building), gets you a quarterly TN Aquarium Riverwatch newsletter,
etc… It’s good for a discount at some adjacent eateries, so ask if you eat
Events & Travel. The TN Aquarium is one of those organizations that arranges
educational adventure trips & offers them to the public (for money, naturally).
IPIX 3D Images. This page lets you download a plug-in so you can view their
online 3D photo.s & take a look at part of the Aquarium. I don’t have 3D glasses
so I can’t comment here.
Other Attractions in the Chattanooga, TN area.
IMAX 3D Theater – a movie theater with a large screen & steeply sloping
auditorium. The films are 3-D; you buy your ticket at the Tennessee Aquarium &
borrow 3-D glasses once you’re in the theater. The film I saw was enjoyable (a
sea turtle took us on a tour of the ocean) albeit geared toward kids. This
theater is about a block from the Aquarium, across the street from a paid
parking lot (which is probably where you’ll be parking…).
Ruby Falls – This is a cave tour attraction on Lookout Mountain. I’ve been.
Basically, I went to a little ‘chateau’ looking building with a gift shop and a
really big elevator. I paid the admission fee & got on. My group dropped about
260 feet down, got off, and our guide led us through a lit cave that runs under
a mountain. We photographed rock formations & such. At the end was an
underground waterfall. Now, with lighting included in the cave, and being where
it is, we didn’t see bats, cave salamanders, etc…it was an ‘eye candy’ tour, and
I doubt that would impress someone who’d been to Mammoth Cave or Carlsbad
Caverns, but it’s okay.
Lookout Mountain – It has 3 attractions;
Rock City, Ruby Falls and the Incline Railway.
Rock City. An attraction on Lookout Mountain.
Chattanooga Zoo at Warner Park – A small zoo with several animals. I had a
hard time finding it & figuring out how to actually get into it. I remember
seeing a jaguar, spider monkeys, a Burmese python and a monitor lizard…more a
small & medium-sized animal zoo. When I went they didn’t have lions, zebra,
giraffe, elephant, the really big stuff. They have
an online 2002 listing of some of their stock.
Other Aquariums in the Region.
Ripley’s Aquarium of the Smokies in Gatlinburg, TN. If you want the ‘clear
tunnel walk-through in an ocean tank with sharks’ effect, this is the place
around here. They have the sand tiger sharks that look impressive; sort of the
Newport Aquarium in Newport, KY. You’ve probably never heard of Newport, KY,
but it’s across the river from Cincinnati, Ohio. They have a temporary
Turtles - Journey of Survival, project featuring 23 species of turtles.
(This exhibit has been mentioned in the forum’s Chelonian Gazette). They also
have a tunnel passage through a shark exhibit (‘Surrounded by Sharks’); an 85
foot seamless tunnel.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little
review of the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga!
Article Date: 7-25-03