Posts Tagged 'Gulf of Mexico'

Animal Update – November 30

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!

animal update

Lionfish

We have five new lionfish in our “Hiding” exhibit!

Lionfish

This vibrant species may look harmless, but each point of its needle-like dorsal fin packs a powerful punch of venom to any potential predators.

Lionfish, also known as “dragon fish” or “scorpion fish” are native to the reefs of the Indo-Pacific, however, they have spread to warm oceans world-wide and are now considered to be an invasive species.

The spike in their population world-wide poses a significant threat to ecosystems in the Gulf of Mexico and South America.

Lionfish mouth

Over the years, the lionfish in the National Aquarium’s collection have come from areas in the Florida Keys in an effort to curb the threat this species is posing to native populations.

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

Our commitment to the gulf

You can’t go far without seeing disturbing images as millions of gallons of oil threaten the Gulf’s irreplaceable ecosystem.

We’d like to share that the National Aquarium is poised to lend assistance. As an active member of the Northeast Region Stranding Network, we are closely connected with agencies responding to this disaster. We were notified to expect requests for help with the sea turtles injured by the oil. We are assessing our facility and have a team of highly skilled staff members ready to help.  Animals and oil are coming ashore now in significant numbers and response efforts must be coordinated, far-reaching and long term.

This man-made disaster has the potential to be devastating to these fragile animals. There are only seven species of sea turtles in the world, and all of them are endangered or threatened, at risk of being wiped out completely. Five of these vulnerable species frequent the Gulf of Mexico to breed and to lay their eggs. We believe the stakes are too high not to invest the time and resources to help as many turtles as possible. Truly, every sea turtle counts. Learn more about our efforts here.

Beyond this disaster, we remain committed to caring for stranded animals in our own mid-Atlantic region. This Saturday, June 19, we are proudly releasing three rare Kemp’s Ridley sea turtles that have been under our care since December.

The turtles came to the National Aquarium from New England and Delaware, suffering from cases of cold stunning- the sea turtle equivalent of hypothermia. After six months of rehabilitation by The National Aquarium’s Marine Animal Rescue Program (MARP), the turtles, named Marshall, Patterson, and Hampden, are ready to return to their ocean home!

Continue reading ‘Our commitment to the gulf’


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