Posts Tagged 'reptiles'

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!

Animal Health Update: Diagnostic MRI and CT Scans for Snake-Necked Turtle

Blog-Header-AnimalExpertUpd

Recently, the National Aquarium’s Animal Health team worked with Veterinary Imaging of the Chesapeake to perform a diagnostic MRI on our 17-year-old female snake-necked turtle.

Our snake-necked turtle undergoing a CT scan. Photo courtesy of Veterinary Imaging of the Chesapeake.

Our snake-necked turtle undergoing a CT scan. Photo courtesy of Veterinary Imaging of the Chesapeake.

The Animal Health team was initially alerted after exhibit staff observed the turtle basking more frequently. Increased basking, also known as environmental hyperthermia, is a potential indicator of either illness or egg laying. After radiographs confirmed that the turtle had no eggs, we decided to do a CT and MRI to diagnose what was causing the turtle to exhibit this abnormal behavior.

turtle x-ray

X-rays taken of the snake-necked turtle, courtesy of Veterinary Imaging of the Chesapeake.

Partnerships with organizations like Veterinary Imaging of the Chesapeake grant our team much-need access to the kinds of medical scanners that the Aquarium doesn’t have on-site.

We’re happy to report that both scans came back normal and the turtle did later develop eggs. She was moved behind-the-scenes for close observation, has laid two eggs so far and continues to do very well.

Blog-Header-LeighClayton

Animal Updates – April 19

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!

Amazon Tree Boa on exhibit! 

Our juvenile Amazon tree boa has been very active on exhibit lately!

amazon tree boa

Adult Amazon tree boas can reach up to 6.5 feet in length. Found throughout South America, this species of tree boa is a nocturnal predator. Currently in its juvenile “yellow phase,” these snakes change color once they reach adulthood.

animal update

Silver-beaked Tanagers on exhibit! 

Six silver-beaked tanagers are now on exhibit in the Upland Tropical Rain Forest! These tanagers are well-known for their deep crimson hue and striking beak.

silver beaked tanager

The silver-beaked tanager ranges from Colombia to Bolivia and along the east coast including Brazil, Paraguay and as far south as Argentina. Although this species is not currently listed as threatened, the destruction of their habitat for industrial/agricultural gain could put them at risk in the near future.

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

Animal Update – October 12

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!

We’ve added three lumpfish to our Stellwagen Bank exhibit! 

Lumpfish can be abundantly found in the cold waters of the North Atlantic – from Norway and Iceland to the New England coast. While the species has been an important food source for European countries, it is seldom consumed in the United States.

Lumpfish are primarily bottom-dwellers. Their pelvic fins are modified into a suction disk so you will most spot them attached to one of the vertical walls.

The species ranges in color from a bluish gray to an olive green or dark brown, they can be distinguished by the wart-like growths that cover their skin.

In many cases, lumpfish have been successfully trained by institutions to perform behaviors like swimming through a hoop. As our lumpfish become more comfortable in their new home, we hope to begin working with them on these types of enrichment.

Endangered Texas blind salamanders! 

Recently, we introduced you to our new Texas blind salamanders. We’re happy to report that they are progressing well through the quarantine process!

This species can only be found in one place in the world – a cave near San Marcos, Texas

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

Animal Update – September 14

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!

Endangered Blind Salamanders Come to DC

Our DC venue has received two Texas blind salamanders! This species of salamander can only be found in one place in the entire world – the Edwards Aquifer near San Marcos, Texas. Because they live their entire lives underground in an underwater cave, they have no eyes!

These are critically endangered animals. Degrading water conditions and overuse of water is severely threatening their only habitat. As a result, the preservation of this species and its habitat has become a top priority for conservation groups.

Very little is known about this species. We are excited to have the opportunity to study their behavior and development more! The salamanders will be in our behind-the-scenes back up area, as they acclimate to their new home but we’ll update you when they’re ready to go on-exhibit.

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


Sign up for AquaMail

Twitter Updates


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 236 other followers