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The New England Aquarium is one of the country's most famous aquariums and a world leader in ocean exploration. It is one of the most famous attractions in Boston drawing in many tourists and locals.
The New England Aquarium was founded in 1969 and was one of the world's first modern aquariums which emphasized a natural setting and habitat for its animals. Its main aquarium building with the Ocean Tank was the largest salt water fish tank in the world when it was opened in 1970. With its resident large sea turtle, Myrtle it was at the time and remains until today one of the aquarium's biggest attractions.
Throughout the 1970s decade, the aquarium started a program which responded to sea animals such as dolphins and sea lions which were stranded at sea. The 1980s and 90s saw new additions to the aquarium such as the Northern Waters of the World Gallery exhibit, and the new Aquarium Medical Center which allowed aquarium visitors to get a first-hand look at animal care. More recently, the New England Aquarium was doted of a six-story high IMAX theater with 3D.
Today the New England Aquarium attracts approximately 1.3 million visitors annually to its many exhibits and shows. Some of the aquarium's main exhibits are the Giant Ocean Tank which typifies a Caribbean coral reef complete with sharks, barracudas, sea turtles, stingrays and eels, along with many types of fish. The tank can be seen from above and through 52 windows which allow visitors to check the tank from every angle. Other prominent aquarium exhibits include the Edge of the Sea Tide Pool, the Tropical Gallery, and the Thinking Gallery which features rare sea dragons and other types of exotic sea animals.
Some of the aquarium's other exhibits are the harbor seal exhibit featuring seven Northern fur seals and the Amazing Jellies exhibit in the West Wing of the Aquarium, which features all types of jellies from sites all over the world. There are also special exhibits worth checking out such as the Sharks and Rays exhibit, Penguin Power, Turtles Uncovered, marine Mammals in Motion and the Killer Instincts program which brings visitors face to face with some of the world's most feared predators.
Besides exhibits, the New England Aquarium also has many shows and presentations that it offers its visitors. Be sure to check out the penguin feedings which occur twice a day and the Harbor seal and Fur Seal training sessions. Also be on the lookout for the Ocean Tank divers and the special programs and talks around climate change. Don’t forget to stay for the live animal presentations which take place at the Aquarium’s Medical Center, and the popular Whale Watch.
If you happen to be in the Boston area, the New England Aquarium is a must see. Operating hours in the winter are 9 am to 5 pm Monday to Friday and until 6 pm on the weekends and holidays. In the summertime, operating hours are 9 am to 6 pm Monday to Friday and until 7 pm on the weekends. Admission fees are $22.95 for adults, $20.95 for senior citizens over 60 and $15.95 for children ages 3 to 11. Note that if you want to catch a show at the IMAX theatre or the Whale Watch, you will have to pay a separate fee. To save money, you can check out the combo tickets on the aquarium's website.
The New England Aquarium is located at 1, Central Wharf in Boston.