Happy Australia Day!

Published January 26, 2011

January 26 is Australia Day, the official national day of Australia. While our friends across the Pacific participate in celebrations to commemorate the history of their great country, we want to remind the citizens of Baltimore that we too can toot our Aussie pride!

We have a slice of Australia right here in Baltimore. In December we celebrated the 5th anniversary of the opening of Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes. Five years later, life is thriving inside our glass pavilion! Our exhibit is home to over 1,800 native Australian animals, including freshwater crocodiles, turtles, fishes,  free flying birds and flying foxes.

If you've been to the exhibit, you may not have seen all of these animals. That's because they are truly immersed into the habitat, which is made up of seven watery exhibits at floor level, and tall rocky gorges and trees that reach 120 feet at the highest point. That's where you'll the flying foxes hanging around.

There are some truly amazing Australian animals that call Baltimore home. We have Australian turtles that breathe underwater &  fish that breathe air! And did you know that an archerfish eat insects?  Their mouths have special adaptations that help them shoot streams of water several feet above the surface to knock insects from branches overhead. Our exhibit guides hold live feeding demonstrations every day!

If you come early enough, you may here the laughing kookaburra’s early morning calls, which gave it the nickname, “bushman’s alarm clock.” The bizarre looking pig-nosed turtles are fan favorite! Although images of these turtles are found in Aboriginal artwork, modern  science had been unable to find these strange-looking animals until the 1970s when a fisherman accidentally reeled one in!

There is plenty to see and learn inside of our exhibit. So if you're yearning to get a glimpse of summer down under, then take a trip to the Aquarium this winter. No flight necessary! With temperatures reaching 80 degrees, it's always summer in our Australia exhibit!

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