The Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans is a captivating and vibrant destination that showcases the wonders of the aquatic world. I took my oldest daughter to the aquarium back in 2013 when she was a toddler. Nestled in the heart of the historic French Quarter, this renowned aquarium offers a remarkable experience for visitors of all ages. As you step inside, you are immediately immersed in a mesmerizing environment filled with an array of marine life from around the globe. From graceful sea turtles and playful penguins to vibrant tropical fish and majestic sharks, the aquarium boasts a diverse collection of over 15,000 sea creatures.
The exhibits are thoughtfully designed, recreating natural habitats and providing a unique opportunity to observe and learn about the delicate ecosystems that exist beneath the waves. The aquarium also features interactive displays, touch tanks, and educational presentations, allowing visitors to engage with the animals and develop a deepened understanding of ocean conservation. With its stunning exhibits, educational programs, and dedication to marine research and conservation, the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas stands as a testament to the beauty and importance of our oceanic world.
As a toddler, my oldest daughter loved watching the sea otters at the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans, Louisiana during our vacation to the South to visit her uncle (my brother). Possessing remarkable adaptations for life in the water, sea otters are enchanting marine mammals known for their adorable appearance and playful nature. Belonging to the weasel family, sea otters are the smallest marine mammals. With their dense fur, they have excellent insulation against the cold ocean temperatures, and they spend a significant amount of time grooming their fur to maintain its waterproof quality. Sea otters are highly skilled swimmers, using their webbed feet and strong tails to gracefully navigate through the water. They are also known for their exceptional dexterity, often seen using rocks as tools to crack open shells of their prey, which primarily consists of crustaceans, mollusks, and sea urchins.
As social creatures, sea otters can be found in groups called rafts, often floating together on their backs, holding hands to prevent drifting apart. Their playful behavior, including somersaults and juggling rocks, adds to their charismatic charm. Despite their endearing traits, sea otters face significant conservation challenges such as habitat loss, pollution, and previous overhunting. Efforts to protect and restore their populations continue to be essential to ensure these delightful creatures thrive in their coastal habitats. Here is a video that I took of one of the sea otters swimming around and around.
This post was originally published on February 6, 2013 and updated on May 17, 2023.
Sea Otter at the New Orleans Aquarium: Wordless Wednesday © 2013 Heather Johnson