Animal Update – November 16

Between our Baltimore and Washington, DC, venues, more than 17,500 animals representing 900 species call the National Aquarium home. There are constant changes, additions, and more going on behind the scenes that our guests may not notice during their visit. We want to share these fun updates with our community so we’re bringing them to you in our weekly Animal Update posts!

Check our blog every Friday to find out what’s going on… here’s what’s new this week!

animal update

Long-spined sea urchins

We have two new long-spined sea urchins in our Surviving Through Adaptation exhibitSea urchins provide a safe home for species like the Banggai cardinalfish. A threatened species found only in the waters of the Banggai islands in Indonesia, the cardinalfish retreat among the spines of the sea urchin when threatened.

Linkia sea stars

We have two new sea stars in our Pacific Coral Reef exhibit. Relatives to the sea urchin, sea stars are invertebrates and echinoderms (meaning they have calcified, spiny skin).

Sea stars have an amazing ability to regenerate arms when they are severed, or an arm could potentially grow a new body in some species.

They have many tube feet extending from the ventral surface. The tube feet allow locomotion via suction created by an internal water-driven hydraulic system.

What’s your favorite species of invertebrate? Tell us in the comments section! 

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