St. Patrick’s Day is here, and at Georgia Aquarium, we’re celebrating the holiday by highlighting a few of the green species that call the Aquarium home. Georgia Aquarium is one of the largest aquariums in the world, with animals of all shapes, sizes and colors, so you’re sure to see your share of green plants, fishes and invertebrates. Here are just a few ways to see green at Georgia Aquarium.
In Southern Company River Scout, which showcases the diversity of freshwater species around the world, you’ll discover fishes in a wide array of colors. This gallery is also home to some of the Aquarium’s only live aquatic plants. You’ll find these bright patches of greenery filling several of the habitats in this gallery among Southeast Asian fishes, freshwater turtles and even an electric eel.
The chilly waters of our Cold Water Quest gallery are home to some green-themed species as well. This gallery features animals from some of the cooler areas of our world ocean, including the magnificent kelp forests of the Pacific. While it’s certainly green, all the kelp at the Aquarium is actually artificial, in part due to the incredible growth rate of this algae. Giant kelp can grow up to 12 inches in a day! Kelp forests are dynamic ecosystems, and home to a great number of plants and animals, including the southern sea otter, urchins and the kelp greenling – all animals you’ll find in Cold Water Quest.
In perhaps our most colorful gallery, Tropical Diver, there’s plenty of green to be seen – and just about every other color of the rainbow, too. This gallery showcases the amazing biodiversity found in coral reef habitats in the Indo-Pacific. Coral reefs are often considered the rainforests of the ocean – while they cover less than one percent of the ocean floor, corals reefs support about 25 percent of ocean life, including many green species. As you explore the warm waters of Tropical Diver, you may spot a green-hued coral colony, carpet anemones, a shimmery green chromis or even the brilliantly colored and ornately patterned mandarinfish, which you may find hiding in the clown anemonefish habitat.
Perhaps the greenest animal in the entire Aquarium is our resident green sea turtle, Tank, who can be found cruising the waters of the 6.3 million-gallon Ocean Voyager Built by The Home Depot exhibit – one of the largest of its kind. The green sea turtle is the largest hard shelled sea turtle in the world, and Tank weighs in at a particularly impressive 422 pounds. While Tank’s shell and skin sport shades of green, this species gets its name from the color of the fat beneath its skin. The green sea turtle’s “vegetarian” diet of sea grasses and algae is thought to be the cause of this coloration. The green sea turtle is the only herbivorous sea turtle species, and it plays an important role in maintaining the health of sea grass beds in the ocean.
These are just a few of the species you’ll find at Georgia Aquarium this St. Patrick’s Day. We hope you’ll join us in celebrating these beautiful green species, and see how many of them you can spot!