Archive for the 'Animal Update' Category



Animal Updates – December 27

national aquarium animal update

Northern Hogsuckers in Maryland Mountains to the Sea

A new group of 10 northern hogsuckers has been added to the Allegheny Stream gallery of our Maryland Mountains to the Sea exhibit!

national aquarium northern hogsucker

The hogsucker is a very distinctive-looking fish with a pronounced, fleshy mouth, which it uses to rummage through substrate and sift our food!

Did you know? These fish are good indicators of waterway health, as they are intolerant of polluted and dirty water.

Clown Triggerfish in Surviving Through Adaptation

A new clown triggerfish has been added to our Displaying gallery!

national aquarium clown triggerfish

This species gets its name from unique look – clown triggerfish have black bellies with large white spots and bright yellow lips!

Clown triggerfish are normally shy and solitary, but they can be very aggressive. Some may charge or attack intruders. When hiding from predators, triggerfish lock themselves into small openings with their trigger fin and bite down on the coral or rock to ensure their safety.

These fish can be found in many areas of the Indian and Pacific Oceans such as Africa, Indonesia, Samoa, Japan, and New Caledonia.

Be sure to check back every Friday to find out what’s happening!

Animal Update – December 20

national aquarium animal update
Strawberry Anemones in Surviving Through Adaptation

We have a whole colony of strawberry anemones now on exhibit in our Surviving Through Adaptation gallery!

national aquarium strawberry anemone

Did you know? These animals only grow to be about an inch wide! Like many other species of anemone, their tentacles are equipped with a potent poison which can stun prey/predators.

Strawberry anemones reproduce by splitting themselves into two identical copies, in a process known as fission. Along the ragged coast of the Pacific Ocean, you can see many rocks and ledges covered in these pink anemones!

Spotfin Butterflyfish in Lurking Gallery

A group of spotfin butterflyfish (originally from our DC location) has been added to our Lurking gallery.

national aquarium spotfin butterflyfish

Did you know? The black bar across this fish’s eye confuses predators.

This species is found in the Western Atlantic, from the east coast of the United States to Brazil.

Be sure to check back every Friday to find out what’s happening!

It’s a … SLOTH! Meet the Rain Forest’s Newest Addition!

We’re are excited to announce the birth of Scout, our newest Linne’s two-toed sloth!

national aquarium baby sloth announcement

The newest arrival to our Upland Tropical Rain Forest is the second baby born to Ivy, one of the five sloths in the exhibit. Scout is the fourth sloth born at the National Aquarium!

To celebrate the birth of Scout, we have set up a baby registry at aqua.org/babysloth. Here, fans of Scout can make a donation to help purchase such items as vegetables and fruit, micro-chipping and the baby’s monthly checkup – items that are essential to the care and survival of Scout!

“Our team is thrilled to welcome another baby sloth to our Rain Forest habitat,” said Ken Howell, Curator of the Upland Tropical Rain Forest. “It is an honor to work with these incredible animals and inspire our guests to learn more about the ways they can protect them.”

Sloths have been an ongoing part of the animal collection here at the Aquarium. The two oldest sloths currently living in the rain forest, Syd and Ivy, were acquired in May 2007. Howie and Xeno were born at National Aquarium in 2008 and 2010, respectively. And most recently, Camden, was born at National Aquarium in 2012.

national aquarium baby sloth scout

Linne’s two-toed sloths are commonly found in South America’s rain forests, where they spend almost their entire lives in the trees. They are nocturnal by nature, fairly active at night while spending most of the day sleeping. Adult sloths are typically the size of a small dog, approximately 24-30 inches in length and about 12–20 pounds in weight.

To give Ivy and her baby proper time to bond, our staff is closely observing mom and baby from a distance. This means we haven’t gathered the newborn’s weight and height measurements or been able to determine gender. Staff has estimated, based on records from other baby sloths its age, that Scout weighs approximately 450 grams and is approximately 30 cm long.

Stay tuned for more updates on baby Scout in the coming weeks! 

Animal Updates – December 13

national aquarium animal update

Bird Wrasse in Displaying Gallery!

A bird wrasse was just added to our Displaying gallery!

national aquarium bird wrasse

The bird wrasse (Gomphosus varius) is reef fish native to the Indo-Pacific. This species, also known as the birdfish or green birdmouth wrasse, is easily recognized by its elongated, snout-like mouth, which it only grows as it reaches adulthood.

Bird wrasse fish prefer to make their homes in the lagoon and/or seaward areas within coral reef habitats.

Be sure to check back every Friday to find out what’s happening!

Animal Updates – December 6

national aquarium animal update

Banded Moray Eel in Surviving Through Adaptation

A banded moray eel can now be seen in our Surviving Through Adaptation gallery!

national aquarium moray eel

Did you know? There are over 200 species of moray eel! Known for their serpentine appearance, morays use their long, dorsal fin to navigate through water.

These eels are fairly secretive animals. They prefer to spend most of their day hidden in crevices within their coral reef homes.

Raccoon Butterflyfish in Pacific Coral Reef 

A raccoon butterflyfish has been added to our Pacific Coral Reef exhibit!

national aquarium raccoon butterflyfish

The raccoon butterflyfish gets its name from the black “raccoon-like” mask that covers its eyes!

This reef species can be found in both the Indo-Pacific and Southeast Atlantic. Their diet usually consists of a combination of benthic invertebrates (like tube worms) and algae

Be sure to check back every Friday to find out what’s happening!


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