Posts Tagged 'coral reef'

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!

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!

Blacktip Reef Shark Cam: Watch Our New Exhibit In Action!

Twenty sleek, fast-moving blacktip reef sharks are now happily exploring their new home in Blacktip Reef!

Just as they are a vital element to coral reef ecosystems in nature, these sharks are one of the final and most important pieces of our new exhibit, the most comprehensive re-creation of an Indo-Pacific coral reef in the country.

Can’t make it to Baltimore to see Blacktip Reef in person? You can now virtually step into the exhibit and meet hundreds of aquatic animals by checking out our underwater Blacktip Reef Shark Cam!

shark week cam

Through a partnership with Discovery Channel and Shark Week, we’re excited to be able to share our exhibit virtually and hope to inspire conservation of these amazing animals AND their equally fragile habitats!

Meet the New Neighbors! Blacktip Reef Sharks Added to Exhibit!

Blog-Header---Blacktip

Twelve blacktip reef sharks were introduced to their new home today!

The transportation and introduction process for these animals is carefully crafted by our Biological Programs team. Each shark is individually introduced by a team of divers into Blacktip Reef. After they feel that the newly introduced shark has begun acclimating to its new surroundings, the next shark is added. The process of introducing all 20 of our blacktip reef sharks will occur over two days.

Blacktips can grow to about 6 feet in length and bear distinctive black tips on their fins. Found in the shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific, these sharks are sleek, beautiful and fast-moving and hunt cooperatively in groups.

These sharks are joining our 500-pound green sea turtle, Calypso, and hundreds of tropical fish recently introduced into the exhibit. Over the next few weeks, many other fascinating species – including zebra sharks, wobbegong sharks, a blotched fantail ray, a reticulate whipray and a Napoleon wrasse – will be introduced to Blacktip Reef! Some of these amazing animals were recently featured in this CBS This Morning piece!

Stay tuned for more updates as Blacktip Reef continues to come to life! 

Animal Updates: July 26

blacktip reef update

Hundreds more tropical fish have been added to the exhibit! 

fish introduction BTR

This week, hundreds of medium and small-sized tropical fish were added to our newest exhibit, Blacktip Reef! This colorful, Indo-Pacific reef will soon be home to over 700 animals, including many species of shark (blacktip reef, zebra and wobbegong), rays and our 500+ green sea turtle Calypso!

Meet two of the species of pufferfish added to the exhibit this week:

White-spotted Puffer 

whitespotted puffer

White-spotted puffers are nocturnal – only leaving their staked territory within the reef to feed! Their diet consists of a large variety of hard-shelled prey such as mollusks and crab.

Orbicular Burrfish

Orbicular burrfish

The orbicular burrfish is also a nocturnal feeder. While they may look sweet, these fish have a mean bite! They’re mouth structures are built for crushing hard-shelled invertebrates.

Did you know? Both species of puffer, can take in water to inflate their bodies when threatened!

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


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