The Tennessee Aquarium located in Chattanooga, Tennessee is housed in two buildings located beside each other on the riverbank of the Tennessee River. One of the buildings is for predominately saltwater exhibits (the “Ocean Journey”), and the other is for predominately freshwater exhibits (the “River Journey”). An admission ticket to one building includes admission to the other building with a short outdoors walk to go from one building to the other. I began my visit by going to the “Ocean Journey” first. Inside, an escalator takes you quickly to the top floor of the building where there are a number of aquatic exhibits as well as many orchids and a butterfly exhibit area.
My cold camera met the near jungle environment with its high humidity and I was out of photographic business until I got my lenses to unfog many minutes later. Spent the time looking around, speaking to volunteer staff and another photographer who was, likewise, waiting for his camera equipment to warm up. Although this blog series is about a public aquarium, this first in the series will focus on mostly the orchids and butterflies found in these upper display area.
Black Stingray (Potamotrygon henlei) – A freshwater river stingray found in the Tocantins River basin, their numbers are threatened is some of their home rivers.
I didn’t bring my polarizing filter with me on this Florida trip and I really missed having it when trying to photograph the indoor exhibits at the Marine Science Center in Ponce Inlet and here, at the Tennessee Aquarium, as well as when photographing the Manatee outdoors at Blue Springs State Park.
I think, Common Stingray and Shovel-nosed Guitarfish (Rhinobates productus)
Had to stop for a moment or tow to talk to the Hyacinth Macaw (Anodorhynchus hyacinthinus) but they didn’t seem to understand me :-).
Passing through a series of doors designed to prevent escape of the non-native butterflies, visitors arrive in a separate exhibit with many flowers, butterflies and interesting birds.
There are many new butterflies released into the viewing area each day so it is a matter of timing with respect to which species will be on display any given day. Many of the species are similar to the ones that are on display at Carleton University Butterfly Show each year in Ottawa, Ontario but with a lot less human congestion.
Part II of this Tennessee Aquarium series of blog entries focuses on reefs and jellyfish.