Posts Tagged 'rain forest'



Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes: Congratulations to Our Second Winner!

amazing rain forest winner

After weeks of excitement and thousands of entries, we’re happy to announce the winners of our Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes!

All week we’ll be announcing the winners for each of our amazing prizes right here on our WATERblog, on our Facebook page and through our email, Aquamail.

Today’s winner is David B. from Baltimore, Maryland! CONGRATULATIONS DAVID! You are the lucky winner of our Rain Forest prize! There is only one rain forest in Maryland, and it is at National Aquarium, Baltimore. As part of your prize, you have the opportunity to help care for this unique habitat side-by-side with our Upland Tropical Rain Forest staff! You will go behind-the-scenes and learn what it takes to care for the diverse and extraordinary ecosystem, prepare food and feed the exhibit’s 15 beautiful species of birds, and tend to a wide range of tropical plants, including a cacao tree  - where chocolate comes from! You will also meet and feed our pair of golden lion tamarin monkeys and help care for our poison dart frogs.

scarlet ibis

Explore the rain forest with our staff and discovery beautiful creatures like the scarlet ibis!

Congratulations again, David. We’re incredibly thankful for your support!

Didn’t win today? No worries! There are still three AMAZING prizes to win…

aquarium sweepstakes

December 19: Name National Aquarium’s Baby Loggerhead Sea Turtle - The baby loggerhead sea turtles that are a part of the National Aquarium, Washington, DC’s loggerhead sea turtle early rehabilitation program are adorable! Through this program, sea turtle hatchlings spend time in aquariums where they can safely grow before being released back to the ocean. The winner of this amazing experience will give the newest turtle, arriving in December 2012, a head start towards success with a name to carry him (or her) into the future! The winner and up to three guests will get to have a private meet and greet with the turtle, and once on display, the turtle tank will feature a sign with the turtle’s name and the winner’s name.

December 20: Go to the Extremes in Australia - On this personal guided tour with the Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes curator, the winner and three guests will get the full behind-the-scenes tour of this incredible exhibit, up close encounters with National Aquarium’s most popular animals, participate in feedings, and see areas of Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes not usually seen by guests.

December 21: Go Behind-the-Scenes with the Dolphins - To get any closer, you would actually have to be an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin! The lucky winner of this amazing experience will go on a private meet and greet with the Aquarium’s dolphins, tour the dolphin area, see how National Aquarium staff prepare their food, check out the dolphin’s extensive toy collection, and learn behind the scenes secrets from the trainers. The winner will get to work with the trainer during a training session, learn how to communicate with the dolphins, and participate in enrichment and play activities!

Still haven’t entered for your chance to win? Well, not to worry. We will still be accepting entries until midnight on December 20th.

ENTER NOW!

How To Enter:
Five Great Ways to be Automatically Entered to Win:

Stay tuned this week to see if YOU are selected as one of our lucky winners!!!

Happy National Monkey Day!

tamarins

Shout it from the roof tops, today we celebrate monkeys!

Today, we’re celebrating National Monkey Day! We wanted to take this opportunity to share a little bit about the golden lion tamarins we have roaming in our Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit!

Tamarins, also known as golden marmosets, are a tree-dwelling monkey that can be easy spotted by their vibrant golden color and lion-like mane. They have extremely long toes and claws that help them grab onto tree branches, navigate through the forest canopies and dig for insects and treats in the tree bark.

Tamarins have a very interesting social structure. They live in monogamous family units consisting of a breeding pair,  offspring and often extended family members. The entire family group has equal parts in helping to rear any young. Interestingly, twins are the norm for tamarin births!

baby tamarin

Baby tamarins spend very little time away from their big family groups!

Native to the coastal rain forests of Brazil, this species is being threatened by deforestation and habitat loss. They were listed as an endangered species in 1982. Following this unfortunate discovery, many organizations, like the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, have worked on the Gold Lion Tamarin Conservation Program, aiming prevent extinction and to reintroduce tamarins back into their natural habitats. For many years, National Aquarium has participated in this program to help promote awareness of these amazing animals and their much-needed protection!

So – want the chance to go behind-the-scenes in our rain forest and meet our tamarins? 

We are giving one lucky winner of our Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes the opportunity to work side-by-side with our rain forest staff for a morning.

Go behind-the-scenes and learn what it takes to care for the diverse animals and plants that call the Upland Tropical Rain Forest their home. Your morning in the rain forest will include a meeting with our family of tamarin monkeys. They are real characters!

There are five great ways to be entered to win our sweepstakes! 

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!

Hello, my name is … CAMDEN!

Following two weeks of voting as part of our baby sloth naming contest, today we’re happy to say we have a winning name – Camden. More than 4,000 votes were cast with over 1,000 cast for the winning name, submitted as homage to the city and to Baltimore’s winning baseball season.

Last month, as part of the naming contest, we invited the public to submit names for the sloth. After reviewing and considering all 1,726 submitted entries Iris, Camden, Waylay, Izzy and Luna were selected by a panel of National Aquarium staff from various departments.

baby sloth

Camden has been excitingly trying solid foods with Mom Ivy for the last month!

During the next two weeks of public voting, we saw an overwhelming support for all of the names. Luna was the runner up with 915 votes and Izzy came in third place with almost 850 votes.

Camden is the third sloth born at National Aquarium and the first born to Ivy, one of the four sloths in the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit.

In honor of Camden’s arrival, we are asking the public to continue to support the sloths and rain forest collection through donations that can be made at aqua.org/donate.

Camden will stay close to Ivy for at least the next few months, but is starting to feel comfortable moving away from Mom’s stomach to better explore its surroundings.

Our naming contest was launched 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 here 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.

Thanks to Jessica Nelson, our senior herpetologist in the Rain Forest, for these amazing new photos of Ivy and Camden!

Thanks to everyone who helped us name our baby! 

Welcome our new baby sloth!

We are so proud to welcome a new addition to the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit – a Linne’s two-toed sloth was born in late August! The baby is the first born to Ivy, one of the four sloths in the exhibit, and is the third sloth born at National Aquarium.

During a daily routine checkup, National Aquarium staff observed Ivy carrying a newborn. The baby was born fully haired and already had its trademark claws! Staff are keeping a close eye on the two and have spotted the baby actively nursing. Upon initial observations, the baby sloth seems strong and healthy, and is actively clinging and crawling about on its mom. Animal care staff suspects the baby will continue to cling to its mother for the first several weeks of life. Sloths can remain dependant on their mothers for up to a year. As time goes on, the young sloth will begin exploring its immediate surroundings and eating solid foods.

Linne’s two-toed sloths are commonly found in South America’s rain forests, where they spend 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.

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.

“Despite the fact that the two-toed sloth is a fairly common animal, many of its most basic behaviors are still a mystery because they are rarely observed,” commented Ken Howell, curator of Rain Forest Exhibits at National Aquarium. “We’re thrilled to welcome the new baby to our family and we hope that it will increase awareness and interest in this group of most unusual mammals.”

Ivy and her new infant are free roaming in the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit and will be particularly good at hiding in the trees for at least a few weeks.

Stay tuned for more updates about our newest addition! 

Animal Update – August 17

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!

New baby screaming piha!

We have a new baby screaming piha in our Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit!

Screaming piha chick

Our screaming piha chick is the first to be born in captivity in North America. After a month of patient waiting by our rain forest aviculturists and exhibit curators, the baby chick hatched at the end of July. Our staff is very excited to be able to share the news of this successful birth!

Very little is known about the biology of the screaming piha when it comes to reproduction, and we hope to learn and share with others in the community as much as we can about these Amazonian birds.

Laying eggs can be difficult for pihas due to their poor nest-building skills. They create tiny nests. Ornithologist (the branch of zoology that studies birds) Alexander Skutch once described a piha nest as being “the most meager arboreal nest that I had seen.” Our female’s nest was about 2 inches by 2 inches and was constructed of curling vines from around our habitat. To help support the structure of the nest, our staff added two additional branches. Soon the female began to sit on her nest and after a couple of days we had our first spotting of a light brown, perfectly camouflaged egg!

In the wild, camouflage is an essential part of the piha’s survival. As a single parent, the female piha often has to leave to gather food while the chick relies completely on camouflage to stay safe in the nest. Through this hatching, we’ve learned that piha chicks lay motionless with their wings at their side while the mother is gone. The chick doesn’t peep or beg (behaviors we traditionally associate with baby birds), so as to not give away its location to any predators.

Screaming piha chick camouflaging itself

In the last month, our baby piha chick has grown tremendously. Thanks to a great mom, the chick has had plenty to eat and is completely feathered. Our new family is currently under the observation of our staff and is not on display yet in our Rain Forest exhibit, but we can’t wait for you to meet our new addition!


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