The opening of the Marine Mammal Pavilion provides a good excuse to revisit the original aquarium on Pier 3, still one of the finest buildings in the Inner Harbor. For those who haven't seen it in a while, here are a few changes worth noting:
*The old dolphin pool has been converted to the world's largest exhibit of rays.
*The Children's Cove was renovated and enlarged to include two tidal pools representing the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.
*New exhibits in the third-floor "Surviving Through Adaptations" area feature Chesapeake Bay rockfish, an African cichlid and electric eels.
*A fiber optics display near the entrance to the Rain Forest exhibit shows the decline of rain forests throughout the world.
*A Hidden Life exhibit outside the Rain Forest showcases small but unusual frogs, lizards and reptiles from Central and South America. Throughout the building are posted "conservation alerts," or messages about animal species that are threatened in the wild, reflecting the aquarium's continued emphasis on that subject.