Aquas – Penguin residence

More than 500,000 people visit this huge aquarium every year. It is the largest institution in Shimane which displays fish.  Aquas is well stocked with fish from all over the world. Visitors can observe the ecology of 500 species and about 10,000 fish.

To enter the brand new Penguin Residence building, just turn right at the Amazon exhibition tank. Then, a passage slopes up to the penguin pool. As you know, penguins live in cold areas such as the Antarctic. Some people might have some questions if those creatures can live in warm place such as Shimane. To protect penguins from the threats of a mild climate, Aquas has a huge tank which is completely air – conditioned.

Aquas breeds four kinds of penguins to show to guests. They are the King penguin, Gentoo penguin, Rockhopper penguin, and Humboldt penguin. There is a great difference between the King penguin and the Rockhopper penguin. A King penguin is double the size of a Rockhopper penguin. This is why these two are sometimes mistaken for adult and young birds of the same species. Of course they are completely different.

If you are lucky, you can see “Penguin feeding time”. The Aquas staff will show how to distinguish each sort of penguin and tell you how the penguins eat fish. For example, penguins swallow fish head first. Please be sure to check the time table if you really want to see that performance.

This fantastic building, which opened in 2011, is known for its unique exhibition systems. Guests will find themselves momentarily under the illusion that they are in cold water. If you look up at the ceiling, you will see penguins as if they were flying in the air. Moreover, there are some explanation boards.  Reading these is the easiest way to learn the habits of living penguins.

Takuya. I


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