Posts Tagged 'indo-pacific reef'



Animal Update – January 18

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

Flame Shrimp

A flame shrimp was added to our Surviving Through Adaptation exhibit. This species of “cleaner shrimp” is commonly found throughout Indo-Pacific reefs, where they make their homes in small caves of coral.

flame shrimp

Cleaner shrimp are omnivorous, feeding mostly on the parasites they clean off their reef neighbors. Oftentimes, these shrimp will congregate in “cleaning stations,” where fish, sea turtles and other reef dwellers will come to have parasites removed!

This is an example of a symbiotic relationship: the shrimp clean the animal of uncomfortable parasites and in return gets the food it needs to survive!

Check back next week to see what’s new! 

Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes – Be the FIRST to See Blacktip Reef and Meet the Animals!

Blacktip reef shark

One lucky winner of our Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes will get a behind-the-scenes, “hard hat” tour of our new Blacktip Reef exhibit BEFORE it opens to the public this summer!

ENTER OUR SWEEPSTAKES NOW!

Blacktip Reef will be a vibrant, action-packed exhibit, replicating an Indo-Pacific coral reef!

In preparation for this exciting new addition to our Baltimore venue, we have been caring for new blacktip reef sharks and wobbegong sharks, in addition to our beloved 400 lb. sea turtle Calypso and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe! Our new exhibit will also be home to a multitude of tropical fish and rays.

Napoleon wrasse

This vibrant Napoleon wrasse is just one of the many new fish in Blacktip Reef!

As part of our sweepstakes, one lucky winner (and up to three friends) will receive a “hard hat” tour of the exhibit space, as well as a behind-the-scenes tour of our Animal Care Center to meet some of the new animals!

In addition, our winner will also get to see how our salt water is made and tested and visit our coral fabrication shop, where we are currently creating pieces for Blacktip Reef.

blacktip reef coral

Behind-the-scenes testing coral

There are five great ways to be entered to win! 

Click here to find out all the details about our Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes!

Stay tuned for more features on our once-in-a-lifetime sweepstakes prizes! Winners will be announced on our Facebook page starting December 17!

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!

Animal Update – November 16

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

Long-spined sea urchins

We have two new long-spined sea urchins in our Surviving Through Adaptation exhibitSea urchins provide a safe home for species like the Banggai cardinalfish. A threatened species found only in the waters of the Banggai islands in Indonesia, the cardinalfish retreat among the spines of the sea urchin when threatened.

Linkia sea stars

We have two new sea stars in our Pacific Coral Reef exhibit. Relatives to the sea urchin, sea stars are invertebrates and echinoderms (meaning they have calcified, spiny skin).

Sea stars have an amazing ability to regenerate arms when they are severed, or an arm could potentially grow a new body in some species.

They have many tube feet extending from the ventral surface. The tube feet allow locomotion via suction created by an internal water-driven hydraulic system.

What’s your favorite species of invertebrate? Tell us in the comments section! 


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