CHATTANOOGA, TN – March 1, 2019 – The Tennessee Aquarium will celebrate the opening of Island Life on March 15.
Island Life is a diverse new gallery that challenges how “islands” are defined while taking guests on a globe-trotting exploration of isolated ecosystems above and below the water.
A journey through Island Life will whisk guests around the world, from the frigid waters of the Pacific Northwest to the tropical seas off Southeast Asia to the teeming wilds of Madagascar. Some of the stops along the way include:
• Vancouver Island, featuring a wide variety of colorful anemones, urchins, sea stars and other marine life. This habitat is Island Life’s piece de resistance, a massive, dynamic display with artificially generated waves that rush along 20 feet of sinuously curved acrylic before crashing against an upright viewing window.
• Indo-Pacific Reef highlights a huge variety of aquatic life found off the coast of Southeast Asia in a region known as the Coral Triangle. Here, guests will see a bustling community comprising more than 30 species of vibrant reef-dwellers, including Polleni Groupers, Kole Tangs, Picasso Triggers and Guinea Fowl Pufferfish.
• Cave of the Flashlight Fish - Inside this dim, mirror-filled room, the darkness will glow with flashes of light courtesy of hundreds of Split Fin Flashlight Fish. This deep-dwelling fish generates light through pockets of glowing bacteria housed in a pouch under its eyes. This habitat features one of the largest schools ever exhibited of this bioluminescent species.
• Clownfish and Anemones will show off how colorful Pink Skunk and False Percula Clownfish have adapted to seek shelter within the venomous, stinging tentacles of Bubbletip Anemones, which act as a kind of living “island.”
• Marvelous Madagascar, where guests will become familiar with a wide variety of Malagasy reptiles and amphibians, including riotously colorful Panther Chameleons, nimble Madagascar Giant Day Geckos, poisonous Mantella Frogs and critically endangered Radiated Tortoises.
Visitors will be led on their exploration of this densely packed space by a scaly guide, Leon the Chameleon. Throughout the gallery, Leon will appear on graphics and interactive elements sponsored by Unum to pose questions about islands and the special adaptations of the animals on display.
Visitors can speed up or slow down video footage of a Chameleon’s tongue in mid-flight, do their best Clownfish impression by weaving through oversized anemone tentacles, light up touch-sensitive Flashlight Fish and snap selfies atop an enormous bronze sculpture of a Galapagos Tortoise sponsored by Tennessee American Water.
After visiting Island Life, the fun continues with a pair of stunning giant-screen films at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX 3D Theater. “Oceans: Our Blue Planet” starts May 24 and features breathtaking footage displaying the amazing diversity and stunning beauty of the planet’s largest, least-explored ecosystem. All summer long, guests can join narrator Kristen Bell (Frozen, The Good Place) to catch up on cute Giant Panda cubs being trained for reintroduction to the wild in “Pandas 3D.” Tickets, show times and additional information is available at www.tnaqua.org/imax.
For more information, visit www.tnaqua.org.
About the Tennessee Aquarium
The Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder, appreciation and protection of water and all life that it sustains. Admission is $29.95 per adult and $18.95 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $11.95 per adult and $9.95 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are $37.95 for adults and $26.95 for children. Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.tnaqua.org or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities.
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