The Dallas World Aquarium has been steadily growing. The aquarium first opened in an abandoned warehouse in 1992, later expanding to a neighboring office building and eventually adding a newly constructed 8-story building for its “Mundo Maya” exhibit. Today, the facility is a world-class zoo and an official member of the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums.
Located just 10 minutes from Magnolia Dallas Park Cities, Dallas World Aquarium provides entertainment and education for the whole family. Whether you have an hour to spare or plan to spend a whole day sightseeing in and around the aquarium, here are five of the animal exhibits you won’t want to miss.
- Scary Sawfish
This ray species may look terrifying, but it’s saw-like snout (called a rostrum) is used for digging up crustaceans – not attacking. Also known as a carpenter shark, the sawfish is a rare and endangered creature. The Dallas World Aquarium celebrated the first-ever International Sawfish Day this past October with school visits and sawfish artwork created by local middle school students. The sawfish is one of the star attractions inside the shark tunnel at Dallas World Aquarium. Look up when you walk through the glass tunnel and you might see its sharp snout swimming by.
- Rainbow Birds
Inside the aviary of the Mundo Maya exhibit you’ll find the bay-headed tanager, a brightly colored tropical bird that hails from South America. They communicate through a 5-note song and are very social creatures, traveling in flocks and living amongst other birds. Look for the brighter males, which have reddish-brown heads, green necks, turquoise bellies and yellow backs.
- Lunar Jellyfish
It’s easy to see how these otherworldly sea creatures got their name. Fluorescing under black light, moon jellyfish look like something from another planet. Stop by the aquarium section and you’ll find a tank devoted to a “bloom” (group) of jellyfish, lighted to showcase their flowing movements. Though they don’t have eyes, teeth or fins, they propel themselves by pulsing their bell-shaped tops and eat with a feeding tube inside the tentacles.
- Rare Penguins
With only 50,000 of their kind living in the wilds of South Africa, black-footed penguins are a rare breed. Their heavily layered feathers are virtually waterproof, and their signature dark feet are webbed so they work like the rudders of a boat. Though they’re black and white, these aren’t the tuxedo-clad penguins found in most zoos. Their stomachs are spotted and they have a narrow, horseshoe-shaped black band across the chest. Look for them in the zoo’s South Africa exhibit.
- Slowpokes of the Wild
They have a reputation for being slower than the DMV, but the Hoffman’s two-toed sloth and their lazy three-toed cousins are amazing creatures. They eat, sleep and give birth to young all while hanging from a tree branch! They have difficulty standing and rarely go on ground, though they are amazing swimmers. You’ll spot these adorably fuzzy critters just hanging around in the Orinoco exhibit.
Don’t be as slow as a sloth when scheduling your stay in Dallas! Contact Magnolia Dallas Park Cities at 214-750-6060 today or book online to get your vacay started.