Featured Image Credit: National Geographic
By Alice Morris
Step into the Amazon rainforest at Adventure Aquarium’s brand new exhibit, Piranha Falls.
The new, multi-sensory display in Camden, New Jersey gives visitors the opportunity to experience the world’s largest rainforest without ever leaving the country.
The impressive 40-foot high exhibit features two waterfalls, hundreds of fresh plants, and trees reaching up to 18 feet tall.
The main attraction, however, is the piranhas. Over 120 red-bellied piranhas are housed within a 5,000-gallon tank..
Mark Kind, the Director of Husbandry at the aquarium, oversaw the development of the remarkable new exhibit.
“When the sunlight pierces through the canopy in our exhibit, it really shows off their glittery gold sides,” says Kind of the piranhas. “Their red bellies are also pronounced with the sunlight, and then the school just swims back and forth across the window of the exhibit.”
The tank also houses several freshwater stingrays and a 50-pound ripsaw catfish.
To round out the jungle tour, visitors are treated to an Amazonian rainstorm every 15 minutes that includes realistic lightning, thunder, and a refreshing mist.
Kind says the new exhibit, which opened April 7th, was completed in around two weeks, but the aquarium plans to expand the exhibit further.
“We will be adding more animals eventually, but right now we’re letting the piranha get adjusted,” said Kind.
The goal of the exhibit is to educate visitors on the ecological role of piranhas and to teach them about the Amazon in general.
An adjacent enclosure houses several Amazonian parrots, including Trinidad, a 26-year-old blue and gold macaw. The birds rotate in and out of the exhibit throughout the day.
You can learn more about the Piranha Falls exhibit and plan your visit to Adventure Aquarium on their website.