Posts Tagged 'animal babies'

Turtle Tuesday: Baby Northern Australian Snapping Turtle!

We’re excited to share some baby news out of our Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes exhibit! On the morning of February 14th, one of our herpetologists discovered a northern Australian snapping turtle hatchling!

national aquarium northern australia snapping turtle hatchling

The eggs, laid by our female Australian snapping turtle on September 4, 2013, were immediately placed in an incubator behind-the-scenes for close observation. This is the first hatchling to emerge from the group!

The National Aquarium is the only Aquarium in the United States to house this turtle species. Further more, this occasion marks the first time any facility has successfully bred northern Australian snapping turtles!

Our baby currently ways about 24 grams. Adults of this species can reach up to five kilograms in size!

national aquarium northern australia snapping turtle hatchling

Our new hatchling will remain behind-the-scenes until it is large enough to safely transition onto exhibit.

Stay tuned for more updates as our team continues to monitor the remainder of our eggs! 

2013 Re-Cap: Our Family’s New Additions

In 2013, was a year filled with very exciting births here at the National Aquarium!

From sloths to sharks, check out what animals joined the family this past year:

Scout

In November, our Rain Forest staff noticed that one of our Linne’s two-toed sloths, Ivy, had given birth to a baby!

national aquarium baby sloth scout

Scout is the fourth sloth born at the National Aquarium. His sibling, Camden, was just born in the Fall of 2012.

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.

Puffin Chick

In July, most of the world was on royal baby watch. At the Aquarium, however, we were obsessing over our newest addition – a puffin chick!

puffin chick

This baby is the fourth chick for puffin parents Victor and Vixen, the parents of the Aquarium’s first successful puffin chick back in 2006.

Did you know? Puffins co-parent their young and take turns incubating the egg, protecting their nest and carrying back food to keep their chick well-fed!

Chloe

Our sandbar shark pup, Chloe, was born at the Aquarium back in May!

national aquarium sandbar shark

Chloe is the first pup our female sandbar shark has had since coming to our facility in 2003. Female sandbars are known to have a range of 1 to 14 pups throughout their lifetime.

Given the low survival rates of shark pups, we are very excited to see how well Chloe is doing in our Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit!

Motmot Chicks

Earlier this year, four blue-crowned motmot chicks were born in our Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit.

blue crowned motmot chick

This was the second successful brood for our pair of motmots. They produced their first set of chicks back in 2011!

Blue-crowned motmots are known for their unusual nesting behaviors – parent birds actually excavate long tunnels into the earth, where they lay their eggs and raise their offspring!

Celebrating any new additions to your family this year? Tell us about them in the comments section! 

Welcome our new baby sloth!

We are so proud to welcome a new addition to the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit – a Linne’s two-toed sloth was born in late August! The baby is the first born to Ivy, one of the four sloths in the exhibit, and is the third sloth born at National Aquarium.

During a daily routine checkup, National Aquarium staff observed Ivy carrying a newborn. The baby was born fully haired and already had its trademark claws! Staff are keeping a close eye on the two and have spotted the baby actively nursing. Upon initial observations, the baby sloth seems strong and healthy, and is actively clinging and crawling about on its mom. Animal care staff suspects the baby will continue to cling to its mother for the first several weeks of life. Sloths can remain dependant on their mothers for up to a year. As time goes on, the young sloth will begin exploring its immediate surroundings and eating solid foods.

Linne’s two-toed sloths are commonly found in South America’s rain forests, where they spend 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.

Sloths have been an ongoing part of the animal collection at National Aquarium. The two oldest sloths currently living in the rain forest, Syd and Ivy, were acquired in May 2007 from a private captive breeder in South Florida. The other two sloths, Howie and Xeno, were born at National Aquarium in 2008 and 2010, respectively.

“Despite the fact that the two-toed sloth is a fairly common animal, many of its most basic behaviors are still a mystery because they are rarely observed,” commented Ken Howell, curator of Rain Forest Exhibits at National Aquarium. “We’re thrilled to welcome the new baby to our family and we hope that it will increase awareness and interest in this group of most unusual mammals.”

Ivy and her new infant are free roaming in the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit and will be particularly good at hiding in the trees for at least a few weeks.

Stay tuned for more updates about our newest addition! 

We Have ANOTHER Spiny-Tailed Monitor Baby!

On Monday, a spiny-tail monitor baby hatched in our Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes exhibit backup area! We are so excited to have another baby spiny-tailed monitor join the one that hatched on July 6!

These babies will stay in our backup area in the care of our staff. Although our guests won’t be able to see the young, you can see their parents in the front.

Animal Update – August 17

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!

New baby screaming piha!

We have a new baby screaming piha in our Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit!

Screaming piha chick

Our screaming piha chick is the first to be born in captivity in North America. After a month of patient waiting by our rain forest aviculturists and exhibit curators, the baby chick hatched at the end of July. Our staff is very excited to be able to share the news of this successful birth!

Very little is known about the biology of the screaming piha when it comes to reproduction, and we hope to learn and share with others in the community as much as we can about these Amazonian birds.

Laying eggs can be difficult for pihas due to their poor nest-building skills. They create tiny nests. Ornithologist (the branch of zoology that studies birds) Alexander Skutch once described a piha nest as being “the most meager arboreal nest that I had seen.” Our female’s nest was about 2 inches by 2 inches and was constructed of curling vines from around our habitat. To help support the structure of the nest, our staff added two additional branches. Soon the female began to sit on her nest and after a couple of days we had our first spotting of a light brown, perfectly camouflaged egg!

In the wild, camouflage is an essential part of the piha’s survival. As a single parent, the female piha often has to leave to gather food while the chick relies completely on camouflage to stay safe in the nest. Through this hatching, we’ve learned that piha chicks lay motionless with their wings at their side while the mother is gone. The chick doesn’t peep or beg (behaviors we traditionally associate with baby birds), so as to not give away its location to any predators.

Screaming piha chick camouflaging itself

In the last month, our baby piha chick has grown tremendously. Thanks to a great mom, the chick has had plenty to eat and is completely feathered. Our new family is currently under the observation of our staff and is not on display yet in our Rain Forest exhibit, but we can’t wait for you to meet our new addition!


Sign up for AquaMail

Twitter Updates


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 238 other followers