The brand new aquarium in Jenks, Oklahoma is one of the finest. I have lived in Tulsa all my life so when they announced that we were getting an aquarium I just couldn't wait. I visited it for the first time only a week after it had opened when they were charging discounted admission prices because not all of the exhibits were completed. Since that time all of the exhibits are full and completed and they have already added some new exhibits and they are already planning for an expansion onto the aquarium. When you enter the aquarium you are greeted by some of the most friendly, helpful staff around. You first step into the Great Hall which is nothing short of "Great", with its high ceiling and huge windows to bring in light. From there you can either head to the left and eat at Corkie's Deli and Grille, which serves wonderful sandwiches, salads, pizza, deserts, and smoothies and you can visit the Karl and Beverly White National Fishing Tackle Museum. This is the world's largest collection of antique fishing tackles that are valued at $4 million. You can even see the first Skeeter Bass boat. If you head to the left of the great hall you come to the exhibits gallery. As you travel through the different galleries you go from the most simplest organisms in the sea to the most complex. You begin your journey in the Biodiversity Gallery where you see animals such as sponges, corals, jellies, and sea stars. the next gallery is the Adaptation Gallery, which focuses on animals that have had to adapt to their enviroment through camouflage and even some who have had to develop legs. Next is the Fishes of Oklahoma which showcases some of Oklahoma's record catches, along with alligator snapping turtles, spotted gar, catfish, and bass. From there is the Oceans Room which is divided into the kelp forests, coral flats, sandy beaches, and rocky coasts. This room is home to the popular touch tanks where you can touch a starfish or even a stingray. From there you go to the most popular exhibit the Shark Adventure which houses the largest sharks in captivity. To view the sharks you go through an underwater tunnel into what is called an architectural marvel, a large dome where you are surrounded by the massive creatures. Out of the shark tunnel you come the Coral Reef where you are surrounded by the beautiful colors of the fish that live in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The last gallery is the Marvels and Mysteries which features seahorses, octupuses, piranhas, and jellies. Before you leave the aquarium be sure to take a stroll through the gift shop with its array of underwater gifts. It will take you about 2 hours to get through the entire aquarium or longer depending on how long you stay and look at the different tanks. If you are headed to Tulsa or live around the area make sure you take a trip to the Oklahoma Aquarium. I already have a membership. It will be worth your time.
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