Moody Gardens: Aquarium Pyramid
No trip to Moody Gardens would be complete without a visit to the Aquarium Pyramid. It's a bit pricey: $14.25 for adults, although during the summer (when the Aquarium is open until 9pm), the price drops to $8.25 at 5:45pm. If you're looking to dodge the summer crowds, late afternoon/evening is a good time to go.
I was quite impressed with the entire aquarium. They have over 8,000 different kinds of fish and sea creatures here. There are four large sea tanks, each depicting a different ocean area of the world (from the Antarctic penguins to the sharks, rays and reef fish from the Great Barrier reef). There are also numerous smaller tanks showcasing anemones, corals and smaller fish. In the center of the lower level are tanks with sea horses, including a few of the tiniest I've ever seen - only 1" long as adults.
Unfortunately it's hard to photograph things in tanks, particularly when the tanks are dark, and things are moving around. So most of my photos are of anemones and coral.
I particularly enjoyed seeing the leafy sea dragons. A variant of sea horse, these elegant animals are masters of camouflage. Their leafy fins and appendages allow them to blend in perfectly with the kelp plants, and at first glance it's hard to see which is the plant and which is the sea dragon. They would even stick their tails into the sand on the bottom of the tank, which made them look even more like the other plants in the tank. Amazing and beautiful creatures. They were in assorted colors; one of the larger ones was a bronzy gold color with many small spots across his torso. Pretty! I couldn't get any decent pictures of them, but here are many wonderful sea dragon photographs.
Click on the thumbnails to view larger images.