Posts Tagged 'Animal update'



Animal Updates – November 8

national aquarium animal update

White-blotched river ray in Amazon River Forest

A white-blotched river ray has been introduced into our Amazon River Forest exhibit!

national aquarium white-blotched river ray

Did you know? On average, these rays are only about two feet in length! Their diet mostly consists of freshwater snails and crustaceans.

national aquarium white-blotched river ray

We love this close-up of our white-blotched ray from Flickr user adamcoop68.

This South American species makes its home in Brazil’s Xingu river basin.

Because of their limited natural range, these rays have been especially vulnerable to habitat degradation in recent years.

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

Animal Update – November 1

national aquarium animal update

Yellow Tangs in our Pacific Coral Reef exhibit!

Several yellow tangs were recently introduced into our Pacific Coral Reef  exhibit!

national aquarium instagram yellow tang

Did you know? These fish are like little lawnmowers – they spend large portions of their day picking at rocks, quickly devouring any threads of algae.

Yellow tangs are a species of surgeonfish. Like the rest of their “family,” these tangs live in tropical habitats (ranging from the Hawaiian Islands to the coast of Florida).

national aquarium yellow tang

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

Animal Updates – October 18

national aquarium animal update

Animal transports from our DC facility, which closed to the public on September 30th, to Baltimore have been continuing steadily over the last week. Thus far, close to 400 animals have successfully made their way to Baltimore (either to the Aquarium building, or our off-site Animal Care Center).

This week, an electric eel and alligator gar were among the animals transported to our ACC. As you can imagine, there are many precautions to consider when moving an animal that can produce up to 600 volts of electricity!

national aquarium electric eel

Our electric eel in DC is actually trained to swim into a net (a helpful behavior when it comes to medical exams and exhibit repair) – this step made the process of his transport seamless for our team!

To move our alligator gar, a prehistoric-looking “megafish,” our staff actually had to use a mesh stretcher to move our gar from his habitat enclosure to his transport carrier.

We’re happy to report that after a quick trip to Baltimore, these animals are acclimating well to their new homes!

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

Baby Puffin Update: Exhibit Exploration & General Cuteness

We’re happy to report that the puffin chick that recently hatched at the Aquarium continues to do well!

national aquarium puffin chick

After spending close to 45 days tucked within its nesting burrow, our baby puffin emerged in early September and began to explore our Sea Cliffs exhibit.

Did you know? Atlantic puffin chicks are known to develop rather quickly! In the wild, they’re fully-fledged and ready to leave their parents after only six weeks.

DNA testing has confirmed that our chick is in fact female! Staff and visitors alike can easily identify our chick by her small, gray bill. It may take two or more years for the bright colors and large triangular bill, what’s commonly seen in mature puffins, to develop.

national aquarium puffins

Stay tuned for more updates on our baby puffin! 

Animal Updates – October 4

More than 17,000 animals representing more than 750 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!

Meet our Queensland Grouper!

Our Queensland grouper, Bertha, is one of Blacktip Reef’s most distinguishable new residents! Since being introduced to her new home, Bertha has been happily exploring the nooks and crannies the reef – she especially loves the deep dive area!

national aquarium queensland grouper

Found in the warm waters of the Pacific, this large fish preys upon quite a variety of animals, including small sharks, rays, sea turtles, smaller fish, crabs and even spiny lobsters!

Measuring up to 9 feet in length and weighing around 800 pounds, Queensland groupers are the largest of reef bony fish species in the world! Apart from their sheer size, these fish can be easily recognized by their blotchy patterning and light yellow fins.

Check out this amazing footage of a giant Queensland grouper found off the coast of Heron Island (part of the Great Barrier Reef):

Did you know? Queensland groupers (like most other grouper species) are protogynous hermaphrodites! They start their lives as females and later will change sex once they hit sexual maturity.

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


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