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Dinosaurs of the Deep Invade New Jersey

Get the jump on the all things dinosaur in anticipation of Universal’s new movie, Jurassic World, scheduled to open in June of 2015 by visiting the Adventure Aquarium’s new limited time exhibit, Dinosaurs of the Deep.

Enormous prehistoric marine reptiles that ruled the primeval seas more than 100 million years ago are taking over Adventure Aquarium on the Camden Waterfront starting January 16, 2015. For a limited time only, five thousand square feet of large-scale skeletons, ancient fossils and more than 20 life-size replicas will be on display throughout the aquarium to teach guests about the most intriguing sea monsters that ever existed – from massive pliosaurs and prehistoric armored fish to the whales, sharks and turtles that inhabit our oceans today.

Come face-to-face with life-sized replicas of some of the most ferocious and feared species that ever lived, including a 42-foot Elasmosaurus, 20-foot Kronosaurus, 21-foot Zygorhiza, 16-foot Dunkleosteus.

Image Courtesy of Adventure Aquarium

Image Courtesy of Adventure Aquarium

Meet the 34-foot full scale Liopleurodon, one of the ancient oceans’ most dangerous predators, whose teeth were 4-inches long. The larger-than-life exhibit will also feature a replica fossil of a Tylosaur still stuck in stone and a life-sized coral reef teeming with trilobites and prehistoric fish.

Interactive dioramas and educational stations situated throughout the aquarium help guests learn about the enthralling world of ancient aquatic life through hands-on exploration. Along the way, visitors get the chance to touch a horseshoe crab at the “Touch a Living Dinosaur” exhibit and become a paleontologist by examining fossils of a variety of shark species and the largest sea turtles that ever lived.

Discover and learn more during your visit by taking in special programming. Check out some of the shows and talks available exclusively during Dinosaurs of the Deep. All live programs are included with general admission.

Ocean Realm: An Evolutionary Tale
Travel back 400 million years during the Devonian Period when sharks and fish made their first appearance on Earth. During this live show, guests will hear from an Animal Experience Specialist who will discuss the evolution of these living fossils and bridge the connection between the ferocious marine reptiles of Dinosaurs of the Deep with the animals on exhibit today inside Ocean Realm. Monday – Friday 1:30 pm; Saturday & Sunday 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm Ocean Realm Theater

Sea Turtle Chat
Learn more about history’s greatest animal navigators! Their appearance may have changed little since the 200 million years when they first appeared on Earth, but a closer look will show just how drastically they’ve evolved. During daily Sea Turtle Chats, an Animal Experience Specialist will explore these differences and how ancient sea turtles compare to our loggerhead and green sea turtle species. Daily live chats; Ocean Realm Panoramic Window

Elasmosaurus Q&A
Get to know the massive 42 foot monster of the deep that’s taken up residence in the Rotunda! The Elasmosaurus was the largest of Plesiosaurs, measuring an average 46 feet long and weighing 2 tons. Adventure Aquarium biologists will discuss the Elasmosaurus and the amazing facts scientists have learned about this extinct species. Daily live chats; Rotunda

Shark Life in Jurassic Waters
Sharks have ruled the oceans for over 450 million years. During this live show, Adventure Aquarium biologists will discuss the evolution of these incredible species, including the great white shark and megalodon. Learn where fossilized evidence of sharks have been found, dive into some of the reasons how sharks were able to survive five mass extinctions and understand more about the connection between ancient and modern sharks. Monday – Friday 12:15 pm; Saturday & Sunday 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm; Shark Realm

Liopleurodon Q&A
An Animal Experience Specialist will be on hand daily to answer questions about the larger-than-life Liopleurodon. Gather under ‘Lio’s’ massive jaws to learn more about this incredible prehistoric monster, and to find out why he was known as the ‘biggest and baddest’ of his day. Daily live chats; Dinosaurs of the Deep Gallery

To learn more or to purchase tickets online, visit

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See Santa Scuba at Adventure Aquarium in NJ

Image Courtesy of Adventure Aquarium

Image Courtesy of Adventure Aquarium

Santa, like everyone, knows a good way to escape the summer heat. He’s heading to the Adventure Aquarium on the Camden, NJ waterfront. It may be hot outside, but inside Adventure Aquarium it’s like a winter wonderland under the sea. Enjoy the first-ever Christmas Celebration in July, a halfway-to-the-holidays festival that includes special dive appearances by the one and only Scuba Santa.

Experience magical glowing trees, twinkling lights, and holiday-themed festivities. Scuba Santa will be flying his sleigh into town for the weekend; making daily dive appearances in the 760,000 gallon Ocean Realm – home to the country’s only great hammerhead shark on exhibit, massive sea turtles and more. And swing by the Rotunda to meet up with Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster, who will make it SNOW inside the Aquarium.

All guests will receive $5-off coupons to come back to Adventure Aquarium for our annual holiday celebrations in December.

• Scuba Santa Dive Appearances: 10:30 am, 11:30 am, 12:30 pm, 1:30 pm
• Meet Bumble the Abominable Snow Monster: 12:00 pm, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:00 pm, 4:00 pm

FREE PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Get a 5×7 photo when you take a photo “underwater” with Scuba Santa through Green Screen Magic. FREE with any package purchase from H20 Photo. A $12.99 value, and the perfect opportunity to get a head-start on your family holiday photo!

Adventure Aquarium Christmas in July
July 26, 2014 to July 27, 2014
Adventure Aquarium
1 Riverside Drive
Camden, NJ

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Jules Verne Gallery at NJ’s Adventure Aquarium Offers Deep Sea Surprises

Image Courtesy of Adventure Aqarium

Image Courtesy of Adventure Aqarium

Hidden deep below the surface of the ocean is a vast world filled with some of the most unusual creatures on Earth. Get up close to many of them in the Adventure Aquarium’s Jules Verne Gallery. Named after the celebrated authored of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, the Jules Verne Gallery features an impressive collection of exhibits that highlight strange and fascinating creatures of the deep.

Enter Jules Verne to encounter magical creatures like Pacific Sea Nettles and Moon Jellies, or learn why Weedy Sea Dragons are described as one of the most elaborately camouflaged creatures on the Planet. And come face to face with a Giant Pacific Octopus, known for its intelligence. In fact, these invertebrates are so smart, they can complete puzzles and problem-solve for food. And if all of that wasn’t enough, Jules Verne provides a stunning view into our 550,000-gallon Shark Realm Exhibit, which houses the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast.

Best of all, you have the chance to get up close to “Randolph,” the brightly hued Giant Pacific Octopus.

Discover the amazing and bizarre creatures found deep below the oceans’ surface in the magical underwater world that is the Jules Verne Gallery.

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Celebrate World Oceans Day June 7 & 8 at Adventure Aquarium in NJ

Tortuga’s recent enrichment includes learning to hunt and forage, using a whiffle ball stuffed with food. Image Courtesy of Adventure Aquarium

Tortuga’s recent enrichment includes learning to hunt and forage, using a whiffle ball stuffed with food.
Image Courtesy of Adventure Aquarium

Calling all ocean lovers! Celebrate World Oceans Day June 7 & 8 at Adventure Aquarium. There will be an array of hands-on interactive activities, demonstrations from conservation partners, up-close aquatic animal opportunities, free live shows and so much more. Learn what you and your family can do to protect marine life locally and worldwide.


Behind-the-Scenes Tours: Journey to the top of our 760,000 gallon Ocean Realm exhibit to get a birds-eye view of the massive sea turtles, Great Hammerhead shark and more. All for a good cause: 100% of the proceeds from the tour will go to benefit New Jersey’s own Marine Mammal Stranding Center. Times: 12:00, 12:45, 1:30, 3:00 and 3:45 Cost $5. Space is limited – first come/first serve. Head to the Information Desk to sign up.

Live Talks: Hear from special guest speaker and New Jersey native Bruckner Chase, an ocean enthusiast who is also an endurance waterman who will talk about his experiences from waters around the world; learn about rescue and rehab loggerhead sea turtle “Tortuga” who will be making his return to the ocean this fall and hear from divers as they share their encounters with plastic pollution in the wild. FREE with admission. Check Visitor Guide for full details upon arrival.

Interactive Activities and Crafts: Get hands-on to learn about sea turtles, plastic pollution, horseshoe crabs, sustainable seafood and more. Plus, representatives from the New Jersey Academy of Aquatic Sciences, Marine Mammal Stranding Center, Surfrider Foundation, and Whole Foods will be on hand to showcase things everyone can do to positively impact sealife. FREE with admission. Check Visitor Guide for full details upon arrival.

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Swimming with Sharks and Aquatic Adventures

Photo courtesy of Adventure Aquarium

Ever since the iconic fish-story Jaws splashed onto movie screens in 1975, timid swimmers have feared to go back into the water while quipsters hum the two-note suspense music. Think you have what it takes to meet the denizens of the deep?  Then get up-close with these magnificent predators in the Adventure Aquarium’s popular adventure, Swimming with the Sharks.

Participants in this program have the opportunity to come face-to-face with any of the 30 sharks living in the 550,000 gallon Shark Realm. The trained staff gives visitors an introduction to the Shark Realm and its inhabitants, presents an overview of what to expect, talks about the animals living in the realm, and conducts a snorkeling familiarization course. All gear except bathing suits, towels, water shoes and toiletries is provided.

The Swimming with the Sharks adventure is carefully designed to give even inexperienced swimmers the opportunity to come within inches of sand tiger and sandbar sharks, nurse sharks and barracudas. The largest animal is a 400 pound female sand tiger shark.

Each participant, wearing wet suit and snorkeling gear, ventures out onto a specially designed ledge within the Shark Realm. Curious sharks, which are used to visiting snorkelers, swim to within inches of the adventurers; so close that the pre-swim safety talk reminds swimmers not to reach out and touch the sharks. There is no barrier between the adventurers and the sharks.

Once you’ve gone around the perimeter of the Shark Realm, you’ll enter the Stingray Lagoon where you can swim with and feed dozens of stingrays.  You can even have your picture taken to prove to everyone that you actually did it. In addition, you’ll receive admission to the Adventure Aquarium, an adventure t-shirt, souvenir snorkel and mask, and memories to last a lifetime.

Photo courtesy of Adventure Aquarium

If you prefer not to get wet, there are other adventures to enjoy. The Positively Penguins Adventure offers an up-close encounter with Black-footed African Penguins, which includes exclusive access to Penguin Island, home to over 20 African Penguins. Go behind-the-scenes with biologists to learn about the care for and feeding of penguins and discover the secrets of penguin biology and behavior. Then, roll up your sleeves to actually help biologists with enrichment and training techniques.

Adventure Aquarium

Camden, N.J.

This story was first published in the News Journal in 2009 under the byline of Gail A. Sisolak. All rights reserved.