The National Aquarium in Baltimore is a non-profit public aquarium located at 501 E Pratt Street in the Inner Harbor area of Baltimore, Maryland in the United States. Constructed during a period of urban renewal in Baltimore, the aquarium opened on August 8, 1981. The aquarium has an annual attendance of 1.5 million. The Aquarium has a collection of 16,500 specimens representing 660 species.
Pier 3 Pavilion
This building contains five levels or floors that are accessible via escalator and elevator. Each floor possesses several exhibits that communicate a main theme. This building also houses two large tanks, one of which simulates an Atlantic coral reef, and one of which simulates the open ocean.
Level 1: Wings in the Water
This large pool on the bottom floor houses several animals, including Southern Stingray, Roughtail Stingray, Cownose Ray, Zebra Shark, Bonnethead Shark, Hogfish, and a green sea turtle. Animals can be seen from the surface or through the underwater viewing windows.
Level 2: Maryland: Mountains to the Sea
This level features animals that are native to Maryland. The four exhibits create the illusion that the viewer is traveling down a Maryland stream from its source in the Allegheny Mountains, to a tidal marsh, to a coastal beach, and finally ending at the Atlantic shelf. Featured animals include Painted Turtle, Wood Turtle, American Bullfrog, and Rosyside Dace in the Allegheny Stream, Diamondback Terrapin, Feather Blenny, and Sheepshead Minnow in the Tidal Marsh, Striped Burrfish and Blue Crab on the Coastal Beach, and Clearnose Skate and Summer Flounder in the Atlantic Shelf exhibit.
Level 3: Surviving Through Adaptation
This level features fish that possess adaptations that are needed to survive in their various environments. For example, the electric eel has the rare ability to shock its prey with electricity. Featured animals include Electric Eel, Chambered Nautilus, and Giant Pacific Octopus.
Level 4: Sea Cliffs, Kelp Forest, Pacific Coral Reef, Amazon River Forest
This level displays several aquatic habitats, including a Sea Cliffs exhibit, which houses several species of seabirds; a Pacific coral reef exhibit; a kelp forest exhibit; and an Amazon River forest exhibit, in which animals can be seen down in the water and up in the overlying foliage. Animals here include Atlantic Puffin in the Sea Cliffs exhibit, Banggai Cardinalfish in the Pacific Coral Reef, and Giant Amazon River Turtle in the Amazon River Forest exhibit.
Level 5: Upland Tropical Rain Forest, Hidden Life
This level simulates the Amazon rainforest, and includes two elevated platforms for bird-watching and a cave of various glass enclosed displays of reptiles, amphibians, and terrestrial arthropods.
Atlantic Coral Reef
This large exhibit replicates the Atlantic Coral Reef, and is filled with more than 500 exotic species that would be found anywhere from closer to shore to out into the trench and open ocean, including a Green Moray Eel, triggerfish, and porcupine fish.
Sharks of varying sizes and species, including including sand tiger sharks, sandbar sharks, nurse sharks, and sawfish, slowly encircle visitors inside this 225,000-gallon, ring-shaped exhibit.
Pier 4 Pavilion
This smaller building, opened in 1990, features the marine mammal exhibit, which is home to Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins. It also holds a temporary exhibit on assorted jellyfish called "Jellies Invasion: Oceans Out of Balance".
This exhibit houses the aquarium's eight Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins. Guests can watch training, feeding, and play times with the dolphins and interact with dolphin experts.