Posts Tagged 'national aquarium in baltimore'



Animal Update – October 25

national aquarium animal update

Frilled Lizards in Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes! 

Our herpetology staff is currently caring for four juvenile frilled lizards behind-the-scenes in our Australia exhibit! These juveniles will spend a few more weeks behind-the-scenes for observation and acclimation before going on exhibit.

Also known as “frillnecks,” this species is found in the humid woodlands of northern Australia and parts of southern New Guinea. They spend most of their time perched up in the trees, perfectly camouflaged, only venturing down to the floor in search of food.

Frilled lizards get their name from the large ruff of skin around their necks. When the animal is threatened, it gapes its mouth open to display its “frill” and, hopefully, discourage any predators from further pursuit.

national aquarium frilled lizard

This species is also known for their ability to run at high speeds on their hind legs – which allows them to reach the safety of a nearby tree quickly, if threatened. It’s quite the sight to see! Check out this awesome video of a frilled lizard in action: 

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

Happy International Sloth Day!

Today is the 4th annual International Sloth Day!

Created by the AIUNA Foundation, International Sloth Day aims to bring awareness to illegal trafficking and the mistreatment of sloths in Central and South America. AIUNA is a nonprofit located in Medellin, Colombia focused on the rehabilitation and release of sloths injured by power lines, hit by cars or sold illegally.

Here at the Aquarium, we have four Linne’s two-toed sloths that live in our Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit! With two claws on the front feet and three on the back, Linne’s two-toed sloths are designed for an arboreal life. They move through the tree branches and even mate and give birth while hanging upside down!

national aquarium baby sloth

Did you know? Sloth babies, like our newest addition Camden, will cling to their moms for their first year of life! During that time, their moms teach them all about being a sloth – from what to eat to how to navigate the tree tops!

Want to learn even more about these fascinating animals? Check out our infographic:

international sloth day infographic

How are YOU celebrating International Sloth Day? Tell us in the comments or join the conversation on Facebook!

The LAST Animal, a Napoleon Wrasse, Has Been Introduced into Blacktip Reef!

blacktip reef update national aquarium

We’re so excited to share that the LAST of our animals has been successfully introduced into Blacktip Reef!

Humphead Wrasse National Aquarium Blacktip Reef

Also known as a humphead or Maori wrasse (after a Polynesian group from New Zealand), this fish is found in reef habitats throughout the Indo-Pacific. This species of wrasse in particular can grow to be over six feet long!

This wrasse combs reefs in search of hard-shelled prey such as mollusks, sea stars and crustaceans – our aquarists keep the newest resident to Blacktip Reef on a similar diet!

National Aquarium, Blacktip Reef, Napoleon Wrasse

Napoleon wrasses have been known to live for over 30 years! It takes them 5-7 years to reach sexual maturity.

In the wild, this species’ population numbers have declined dramatically in recent years. This decline is due in major part to a high demand for this fish in the Asian luxury food market. Humphead wrasse meat can fetch up to $100 dollars per kilogram in Hong Kong. As a result of this recent and rapid population decline, the species has been listed under the Endangered Species Act and IUCN’s Red List.

 We hope you can stop by and meet the newest (truly stunning) resident of Blacktip Reef! In the meantime, look out for him on our live Shark Cam

Animal Update – October 11

More than 17,000 animals representing 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!

Juvenile Australian Water Dragons! 

We have seven new water dragons in our Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes exhibit!

national aquarium water dragon

Australian water dragons are semi-aquatic animals. They possess long, powerful limbs and claws for climbing and a laterally compressed tail for swimming.

Water dragons are primarily found in eastern Australia (from Cooktown down to the coast of New South Wales). They spend a lot of their time in areas with flowing water, ample tree cover and basking sites.

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! 


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