Archive for the 'Reptiles' Category



Animal Update – December 7

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!

AnimalUpdated_DC

Loggerhead moves!

As we mentioned in yesterday’s Thoughtful Thursday post, our National Aquarium, Washington DC venue hosts and cares for sea turtle hatchlings so they can safely grow as part of the Loggerhead Head Start Program. This week was a very special week in DC because it was turtle moving week!

Sylvia and Earle, the turtles we’ve had for the past year, traveled to North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores on Monday and will be released to the warmer waters soon!

loggerhead turtles

Sylvia and Earle tucked comfortably for their trip to North Carolina!

Although we were sad we had to say farewell to Sylvia and Earle, the team is extremely excited to welcome our new turtle hatchling! The new hatchling arrived on Wednesday and is looking very healthy.

loggerhead hatchling

Our new loggerhead hatchling!

As with all of our animals, the young turtle will be in our backup area for at least two weeks for close monitoring before joining its new friends in our exhibit.

loggerhead hatchling

Want to name the adorable new hatchling? Don’t forget – You could win the chance to name and meet the new baby in our Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes

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

Blacktip Reef Update: Meet the Animals!

We cannot wait for our new exhibit, Blacktip Reef, to open in summer of 2013! This coral-filled exhibit, replicating an Indo-Pacific ocean habitat, will feature 15 exciting species including blacktip reef sharks, reticulated whiptail rays, and ornate wobbegong sharks. It will also be the new home for some of our most beloved animals, including our 400-pound green sea turtle Calypso, and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe. Guests will be able to experience this lively reef from many vantage points, including a new floor-to-ceiling pop-out viewing window that allows you to virtually step inside the exhibit.

It’s a long journey to opening day. Between animal transports, exhibit demolition, new construction, and habitat fabrication, as well as the acquisition of new animals, we’ll have a lot to update you on leading up to next summer. As we continue to build the future home of Blacktip Reef, stay tuned to learn about new changes here on our WATERblog!

Our teams have been busy all over the Aquarium preparing for Blacktip Reef! Animal care is our number one priority, so one of the biggest jobs is caring for the animals that will soon be added to the new exhibit.

Beginning in summer 2013, guests will be able to  see new animals like blacktip reef sharks, reticulated whiptail rays, ornate wobbegong sharks and napoleon wrasse!

Napoleon wrasse

Napoleon wrasse

The namesake animal of the new exhibit, the blacktip reef shark, is a smaller shark species that can grow to about 6 feet in length and bears distinctive black tips on its fins. Blacktip reef sharks are found in the shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific, hanging around reefs to feed. These sharks are sleek, beautiful, fast-moving, and hunt cooperatively in groups.

Blacktip reef shark

Blacktip reef shark

These facinating new species will be joined by some of National Aquarium’s most beloved animals, including Calypso, our 400-pound green sea turtle, and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe!

green sea turtle

Calypso

Watch this video to learn more about the amazing animals that will be living in Blacktip Reef

Below are some of the other amazing species that will be joining our Blacktip Reef family!

  • Blotched fantail ray (Taeniurops)
  • Blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus)
  • Bluefin trevally (Caranx melampygus)
  • Bluestripe seaperch (Lutjanus kasmira)
  • Clown triggerfish (Balistoides conspicillum)
  • Emperor angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator)
  • Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas))
  • Reticulate whipray (Himantura uarnak)
  • Napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus)
  • Ornate wobbegong (Orectolobus ornatus)
  • Tasselled wobbegong (Eucrossorhinus dasypogon)
  • Potato cod (Epinephelus tukula)
  • Semicircle angelfish (Pomacanthus semicirculatus)
  • Spotted unicornfish (Naso brevirostris)
  • Zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum)

Stay tuned for more Blacktip Reef updates! 

Animal Update – October 12

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!

We’ve added three lumpfish to our Stellwagen Bank exhibit! 

Lumpfish can be abundantly found in the cold waters of the North Atlantic – from Norway and Iceland to the New England coast. While the species has been an important food source for European countries, it is seldom consumed in the United States.

Lumpfish are primarily bottom-dwellers. Their pelvic fins are modified into a suction disk so you will most spot them attached to one of the vertical walls.

The species ranges in color from a bluish gray to an olive green or dark brown, they can be distinguished by the wart-like growths that cover their skin.

In many cases, lumpfish have been successfully trained by institutions to perform behaviors like swimming through a hoop. As our lumpfish become more comfortable in their new home, we hope to begin working with them on these types of enrichment.

Endangered Texas blind salamanders! 

Recently, we introduced you to our new Texas blind salamanders. We’re happy to report that they are progressing well through the quarantine process!

This species can only be found in one place in the world – a cave near San Marcos, Texas

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

Orioles Magic: Our Birds Support The Birds!

Our National Aquarium birds (and reptiles) are proud that our hometown team, the Baltimore Orioles, are headed to the playoffs! They couldn’t help but break into song…

From all of us at the National Aquarium, Go O’s!

Animal Update – September 14

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!

Endangered Blind Salamanders Come to DC

Our DC venue has received two Texas blind salamanders! This species of salamander can only be found in one place in the entire world – the Edwards Aquifer near San Marcos, Texas. Because they live their entire lives underground in an underwater cave, they have no eyes!

These are critically endangered animals. Degrading water conditions and overuse of water is severely threatening their only habitat. As a result, the preservation of this species and its habitat has become a top priority for conservation groups.

Very little is known about this species. We are excited to have the opportunity to study their behavior and development more! The salamanders will be in our behind-the-scenes back up area, as they acclimate to their new home but we’ll update you when they’re ready to go on-exhibit.

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


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