There's is a lot to see apart from biology/animal exhibits, but it was the animal exhibits that we enjoyed the most.
We had fun in the "Rain Forest" peering into glass boxes to spot the reptile or amphibian camouflaged against vegetation. The tiny orange "jelly bean" frogs went a long way towards curing me of my frog phobia. I could actually bear to watch them and would even go so far as to describe them as cute. Other bigger, greener frogs...not so much - they still made my skin crawl (sorry Kermit!)
We admired how well selected and put together the vegetation was too. That must be a fun job.
There were a couple of cocky parrots that spoke saying, "Hi there!" I thought it might be funny to teach them some swear words but thought better of it!
But it was the aquariums that stole the show.
Having done a fair bit of scuba diving in the past, I still love to watch coral communities, and their array of color never fails to amaze me!
it okay because I made sure to have my flash turned off.
Apparently many cameras, and even those on phones, use infra-red to detect light levels and focal distance to the object. Many of the deeper ocean species have sensors (like eyes) that are sensitive to and which can be damaged by infra-red. Many people don't know how to turn that feature off on their camera, some camera's you can't disable it, in fact, many even forget to turn off their flash, so for more sensitive creatures they ban photographs altogether.
At this point I was a bit worried. I confessed to her that I had only noticed some of the signs after I'd taken a picture (without flash but probably with infra-red), and apologized, feeling awful about it. Her attitude was that a small amount is probably fine, but if the creatures are exposed to lots of infra-red and flashes it will be a issue. This gorgeous Leafy Sea Dragon is one case where I think I'd noticed a sign after I'd done the dastardly deed!
Maybe a blanket ban on photographs is what's needed. But at the touch tanks I asked permission from the staff present. This was before I'd even learned about the infrared, so I was trying to be careful! They said it was okay to take photos here as I petted the starfish - they feel kind of crusty, and not one bit slimy, as I'd imagined. I never touch anything when I'm scuba diving - you just never know when you'll harm or be harmed!
When diving you need to keep really still. Any little movement makes them disappear into their holes. If you hang around they'll come back out in a few minutes.
These guys were much less skittish and despite all the movement outside the tank they didn't disappear once.
I sure hope it's not because they've gone blind from all the photography!