The Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is housed in two buildings constructed in a pyramid style; one is the main building and the other is an annex. Altogether the aquarium is spread across 20,500 sq metres and includes a large exhibition hall, a restaurant that can accommodate up to 300 visitors, and a gift shop.
There are different exhibition zones for viewing; Deep Ocean, South America, China, Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia, Cold Water, Sea and Shore, Polar Zone, and Special Exhibitions. On show there are more than 15,000 aquatic animals of more than 300 types, with exotic animals such as poison dart frogs, moonfish, jellyfishes, Emperor penguins, leafy sea dragons, and other rare fishes. The exhibition basically covers the four oceans and five continents of the world. For each zone, the culture, geography and other unique native distinctions are used to provide visitors with an exceptional experience of aquatic life around the world.
The specialty in the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium is its China zone, where endangered aquatic animals of China as well as interesting specimens of the Yangtze valley aquatic organisms and ecosystem may be seen. Protected animals such as the Chinese mullet, the giant salamander, Yangtze alligator and the Chinese sturgeon can also be viewed in this section.
For the best exploration of the Shanghai Ocean Aquarium, it’s best to start the tour at the third floor of the main building and slowly work one’s way down to the basement area. The third floor holds the most interesting exhibits including the China, Australia and South America zones. The special exhibition zone is also located here. The second floor houses Southeast Asia, Africa, Polar zones and Cold Water. The Deep Ocean with the submarine viewing tunnel is located in the basement. After an enjoyable exploration visitors can come back to the first floor for a meal and a little bit of shopping at the souvenir shop.
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