We went to the zoo today-in the past year or so, they've been renovating their waters building (which housed all the watery animals like fish, penguins, etc) and renamed it the Oceans. Today they were having a special preview for zoo members only so we went. We figured it would be a lot more crowded when it was open to the public. They really did improve it as well as adding some neat stuff. They have these cute (??) little hammerhead sharks. I'm not sure if they're babies or just small but they were probably no more than 2 feet long. More like 18 inches. Plus they have a petting pool with dogfish sharks. They added jellyfish, plus some touchable creatures like urchins and starfish (and snails, hermit crabs...that might have been all). They kept some of the old stuff but put it in better tanks. They added a bunch of eels-they had one and now they have too many to count. They're ugly (no pics-I took some but didn't post them). They made the floor between the penguin enclosures clear so that you can see the penguins swimming from one side to the other. Here are some pictures. If you can't tell, my favorite part of the zoo is the marine part and when it wasn't open (when they were renovating) I didn't even want to go to the zoo. I do have some pictures of land dwelling animals too.
If any of the pictures don't show up-it's because of imageshack. The other day one of their servers was apparently down so I re-uploaded the picture that wasn't showing up. So if that happens again, some pics might not show up. I'll keep an eye on them and re-upload if necessary. I need to start uploading to blogger instead. Old habits die hard. Camera info: Most of the Oceans pictures were taken with my 50mm F1.8 lens with an ISO of 1600 and aperture of 1.8. I thought they came out pretty nice for such a high ISO and short focus depth. The first picture (the hammerhead) was taken with my 28-105 and flash. That was before I switched lenses. The outdoor pics were taken with my 28-105 lens on ISO 200 on the TV setting at 1/200 second. I used Auto White Balance for all of them. I always forget to change that for the different conditions so I find that leaving it on Auto works best for me.
This is a picture of the hammerhead sharks. There were a lot of them in the tank and the swam pretty quickly so I was lucky to get a decent shot.
This one is a pretty pink anemone. They are so neat to watch.
This is a jellyfish. According to my kids, they have no brain (the jellyfish, that is).
This is a starfish that they were letting kids touch (gently). That is Jake's hand touching it. They also touched a sea urchin but I didn't get a picture of that.
This is the dogfish shark-one of the ones the kids were able to pet. It took a while to get them to come close enough, and it was really crowded. I didn't get any pictures of the kids actually petting one because I had to be watching so that I could yell "here it comes-pet it!". Notice how big the eye is. They looked like human eyes.
This is a baby giraffe that was born about a month ago. It was hard to get a picture of it because it stayed over by that fence. I think they just recently put the mom and baby in with the bigger giraffes and it was probably wanting back into the nice little safe pen. You can sort of see the size of the baby by looking at the part of the mom giraffe in the corner of the picture. At least I think that was the mom-it was staying with the baby the entire time.
This is a meerkat. They look like big rodents so we (Steve and I-the kids don't know this) call them meer-rats.
There was another amazing thing about this trip to the zoo. Jake didn't have a meltdown. It was so amazing that I wasn't quite sure if someone had swapped my kid. And we didn't even go into the gift shop which makes it doubly amazing. Jenny did look mad all the way home, so I have a feeling that was all about not going into the gift shop (which she was warned about before we went).