shovel nose sturgeon

Underwater Adventures Aquarium

Underwater Adventures Aquarium is a public aquarium located in the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA. It is home to more than 4,500 aquatic creatures, including a large collection of sharks and rays. The 1.2 million-gallon aquarium also features sea turtles, octopuses, and lobsters. Freshwater exhibits include game fish from the northern region of the United States, several giant catfish and an 180-pound alligator gar from the Southern United States. The key exhibit feature is a clear, acrylic tunnel about the length of a football field. This allows visitors to explore the underwater world while remaining quite dry.

Underwater Adventures Aquarium consists of four main tanks. The first is fisherman's hollow, which is designed to simulate a Minnesotan lake or northern river. That is, with the exception of the alligator gars, which cannot be found naturally in Minnesota. The other species exhibited in this tank include six species of turtle, three additional species of gar, four species of bass, lake and shovel-nosed sturgeon, common carp, small and large-mouthed buffalo, tiger muskie, channel catfish, bowfins, walleye, and paddlefish, among others.

The next tank is the Wild Amazon. This tank consists of an arapaima, arowanas, black pacu, midas cichlids, fossil catfish, pictus catfish, leopard catfish, tiger shovel nose catfish, leopard plocostamus, flagtails, silver dollars, and freshwater stingrays. This is meant to simulate the Amazon River, which has more freshwater species of fish than any other body of water in the world.

The largest tank (totaling 500,000 gallons of the aquarium's total 1.2 million) is shark's cove. This tank has six different species of shark in it: sand tiger sharks, nurse sharks, brown shark, wobegong sharks, white tip reef sharks, and black tip reef sharks. It also contains southern stingrays, three giant shovelnosed guitarfish and two green sawfish. Shark's cove is also home to several sea turtles – two loggerhead sea turtles, and two kemp's riddley sea turtles. In addition, it has groupers, red snappers, red drums, pork fish, jacks, permits, and many more species.


On February 1, 2008, a young female shark was attacked by a larger shark, in full view of the public. The young shark survived the attack and is expected to make a full recovery.

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