Located in the West End Historic District of downtown Dallas, the Dallas World Aquarium is home to a diverse miscellany of marine life and is an absolute must on any family itinerary. Rabbits, jaguars and flamingos are not creatures you would expect to see in an aquarium but this is no ordinary aquarium. While ocean life features heavily, there is a lot more to Dallas World Aquarium than first meets the eye. Visitors will be pleasantly surprised to learn that the aquarium is also home to a wide variety of other species including exotic birds and endangered animals.
The first port of call is the upper level, which is given over to the Orinoco Secrets of the River exhibit. An aviary forms part of this exhibit and features free-flying exotic birds such as cocks-of-the-rock and toucans. Other animals in this section include the rare golden lion tamarin monkey, an endangered Orinoco crocodile as well as a goliath bird-eating tarantula. This is a wonderful exhibit where the cacophony of colour and smells exudes the feel of an actual rainforest. As you wander around, see if you can spot the three-toed sloths, which are unique to this aquarium. Also, keep a special eye out for poison dart frogs and vampire bats.
The eight-story Munda Maya Exhibit places an emphasis on Mayan culture and features plants and animals native to Central America. The highlight of the exhibit is the 3-metre tunnel featuring sharks, rays and sea turtles.
The South Africa Exhibit is home to the black-footed penguin, the Madagascan big-headed turtle and Madagascar giant millipede. If even the thought of getting close to a giant millipede is making you queasy, then make your way over to the Wilds of Borneo. Here you will find a varied selection of Australasian fish, mammals and birds such as the Pangasius catfish, Matschie's tree kangaroo and the diminutive Fairy penguin.
Finally, with a stunning coral reef and a 76,000-litre walk-through tunnel exhibit, the Aquarium Gallery houses an eclectic menagerie of sea life including electric eels, piranha, a giant pacific octopus and Japanese spider fish.
With such a wide variety of sea creatures and excellent interactive exhibits, it’s easy to spend a full day here. So make the most of it and get in early!
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