Tennessee Aquarium opens new ‘Island Life’ exhibit

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) – “Island Life” is a new exhibit at the Tennessee Aquarium that gives a look at different islands and the creatures you’ll find there.

“I love it. It’s so bright and colorful and pretty. They did such a great job getting everything together,” Tanisha Bafford said.

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It took three to five years from the beginning to finish this island hopping adventure.

It’s a journey that features areas from the Tropical Pacific to Vancouver Island.

“Islands develop in isolation so the animals develop differently there than they do on continental areas so you see these really spectacular creatures like chameleons or beautiful colorful reef fish or the spectacular anemones and sea stars that you find around Vancouver,” Tennessee Aquarium External Affairs Director Thom Benson said.

News 12 asked Benson, what is the one creature people should make sure to see while walking through the exhibit?

“So I have a new favorite fish and that’s the Harlequin Sweetlips, which is absolutely gorgeous, and then there’s the Guineafowl Puffer fish which is this little polka dotted puffer fish a lot of personality and a really fun looking fish. So those are two,” Benson said.

The exhibit has some hands on activities for kids.

They can watch the waves crash down at an underwater space at Vancouver Island.

“I think it’s cool how you can inspire kids about all the fishes and life and water and I think it’s pretty cool how colorful it is,” Brooklyn Lewallen said.

The exhibit kick off day for members stayed busy Friday.

700 people were preregistered for the event.

The “Island Life” exhibit replaces the “Jellies: Living Art” gallery.

The aquarium still has jellyfish in their “Boneless Beauties” gallery.

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