Ashley Tompkins and Alexis Shelly of Moody Gardens joined us in the studio to tell us all about the new exhibits and enhancements being made to the Aquarium Pyramid as part of a $37 million renovation project. They will host a grand reveal May 27, giving the public its first look at new Humboldt penguins, a jellyfish gallery, ray and shark touch tank and so much more!
The Humboldts have settled into their new exhibit near the South Atlantic Penguin Habitat, home to the King, Gentoo, Chinstrap, Rockhopper and Macaroni penguins. This temperate species is found in the coastal areas of Peru and Chile. The penguins share their name with the chilly Humboldt Current, which flows north from Antarctica along the Pacific Coast of South America, where the birds live. Guests will be able to see the Humboldts – a threatened species – both above water and underwater in a lower viewing area. The Humboldts are easily recognizable by the black band of feathers across their chest. Even more distinguishable are the pink patches on their face and feet, as well as the underside of their wings. That pink coloration isn’t from their feathers, but the result of bare skin patches, which helps keep them cool in warmer climates. Humboldts average about 28 inches long and weigh roughly 9 pounds. They can reach up to speeds of 30 miles per hour in the water.
Aquarium renovations will offer guests a spectacular aquarium experience including a new Gulf of Mexico Oil Rig Exhibit, Mangrove Exhibit, Caribbean Exhibit Touch Tank area and the new Flower Garden Banks Exhibit. Moody Gardens will unveil enhancements made to the Aquarium Pyramid to the public with a grand reveal May 27, just in time for Memorial Day weekend. New exhibits will not only inspire visitor interest and empathy, but also connect visitors to specific ocean habitats. Visitors will travel from the Gulf of Mexico to the South Atlantic, the South Pacific, the North Pacific and the Caribbean. Each ocean exhibit will highlight different marine sanctuaries and different aspects of our relationship to the seas. The addition of jellyfish and tropical penguins will also be among the surprises for guests upon completion in May 2017 as this renovation further establishes the Aquarium Pyramid as the most diverse aquarium on the Gulf Coast.
For more information, please visit moodygardens.org or call 800-582-4673.