Posts Tagged 'rain forest animals'

It’s a … SLOTH! Meet the Rain Forest’s Newest Addition!

We’re are excited to announce the birth of Scout, our newest Linne’s two-toed sloth!

national aquarium baby sloth announcement

The newest arrival to our Upland Tropical Rain Forest is the second baby born to Ivy, one of the five sloths in the exhibit. Scout is the fourth sloth born at the National Aquarium!

To celebrate the birth of Scout, we have set up a baby registry at aqua.org/babysloth. Here, fans of Scout can make a donation to help purchase such items as vegetables and fruit, micro-chipping and the baby’s monthly checkup – items that are essential to the care and survival of Scout!

“Our team is thrilled to welcome another baby sloth to our Rain Forest habitat,” said Ken Howell, Curator of the Upland Tropical Rain Forest. “It is an honor to work with these incredible animals and inspire our guests to learn more about the ways they can protect them.”

Sloths have been an ongoing part of the animal collection here at the Aquarium. The two oldest sloths currently living in the rain forest, Syd and Ivy, were acquired in May 2007. Howie and Xeno were born at National Aquarium in 2008 and 2010, respectively. And most recently, Camden, was born at National Aquarium in 2012.

national aquarium baby sloth scout

Linne’s two-toed sloths are commonly found in South America’s rain forests, where they spend almost their entire lives in the trees. They are nocturnal by nature, fairly active at night while spending most of the day sleeping. Adult sloths are typically the size of a small dog, approximately 24-30 inches in length and about 12–20 pounds in weight.

To give Ivy and her baby proper time to bond, our staff is closely observing mom and baby from a distance. This means we haven’t gathered the newborn’s weight and height measurements or been able to determine gender. Staff has estimated, based on records from other baby sloths its age, that Scout weighs approximately 450 grams and is approximately 30 cm long.

Stay tuned for more updates on baby Scout in the coming weeks! 

The Life Cycle of Poison Dart Frogs Explained

Blog-Header-AnimalExpertUpd

National Aquarium has had a long, successful history of breeding poison dart frogs. Here in the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit, we have 16 species of poison dart frogs. Over the last few decades, scientists have become very interested in the reproductive strategies of these species and how they care for their young.

blue poison dart froglet

Dart frogs are incredibly intriguing animals. In addition to possessing toxins and bright colorations/patterns, they also have a fairly complex life cycle!

For most species, females will choose a leaf lying on the rain forest floor to deposit a mass of eggs, which the male will then fertilize. Males are oftentimes in charge of guarding the eggs while they develop.

poison dart frogs developing

Here at the Aquarium, most of our tadpoles develop behind-the-scenes in their own simulated bromeliad cup.

Once the tadpoles have developed, one parent will carry each tadpole to their very own pool of water held in a plant, known as a phytotelma. In the wild, some dart frog species (including many of the species we have in our collection) choose the water-filled cups at the base of bromeliads to safely store young.

Many tadpoles are omnivorous and most species will feed on algae and/or other small animal life (including other tadpoles). During their time in the bromeliads, the tadpoles will progressively metamorphose into full-fledged froglets!

The transition takes approximately two months, and they typically reach adult size and maturity within a year.

The normal life span for these animals in zoos and aquariums is about 10-15 years. Here at the Aquarium, we’ve had frogs live to be at least 23 years old!

ken howell rain forest expert national aquarium

Iris? Camden? Luna? The final choices are in – help us name our baby sloth!

Following two weeks of accepting name suggestions as part of a naming contest for the Linne’s two-toed sloth born in Baltimore in late August, today we are announcing the following names for final consideration:

  • Iris – In honor of the beautiful flower
  • Camden – In honor of the city it was born in, Baltimore, and the winning baseball season
  • Waylay – Meaning surprise, like the baby was for Ivy
  • Izzy – Submitted by a teacher on behalf of a Frederick County Public Schools elementary class that selected the name
  • Luna – Meaning moon in Spanish

A panel of National Aquarium staff from various departments, including those from our rain forest exhibit where the baby sloth resides, reviewed and considered all 1,726 entries that were submitted for the baby sloth, the third born at National Aquarium. Although the panel was originally tasked with selecting four names, they were overwhelmed by the amount of incredible responses and decided to include one more option!

Visit www.aqua.org/slothcontest between now and November 15 to vote on your favorite name!

This baby is the newest addition to the Upland Tropical Rain Forest and the first born to Ivy, one of the four sloths in the exhibit. After votes are tallied, the winning name will be announced on the morning of November 16.

Ivy with her baby

The naming contest launched October 18 in honor of International Sloth Day, which aims to bring awareness to illegal trafficking and the mistreatment of sloths in Central and South America. The AIUNA foundation, the starters of International Sloth Day rehabilitate sloths that have been injured by power lines, hit by cars or sold illegally and release them back into the wild.

Sloths have been an ongoing part of the animal collection at National Aquarium. The two oldest sloths currently living in the rain forest, Syd and Ivy, were acquired in May 2007 from a private captive breeder in South Florida. The other two sloths, Howie and Xeno, were born at National Aquarium in 2008 and 2010, respectively.

Linne’s two-toed sloths are commonly found in South America’s rain forests, where they spend almost their entire lives in the trees. They are nocturnal by nature, fairly active at night while spending most of the day sleeping. Adult sloths are typically the size of a small dog, approximately 24-30 inches in length and about 12–20 pounds in weight.

The Linne’s two-toed sloth is currently not threatened however other species of sloth, such as the maned three-toed sloth and pygmy three-toed sloth are endangered. The sloths at National Aquarium, Baltimore help to inform people of the plight of all sloths from threats such as habitat loss and fragmentation of forests as well as to inspire conservation, protection and welfare of these and other animals.

Click here to vote on your favorite name for our baby! 


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