Posts Tagged 'survival through adaptation'

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! 

Animal Update – December 21

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

Sally Lightfoot Crabs

We have four new sally lightfoot crabs Percnon gibbesi in our Surviving Through Adaptation exhibit.

sally lightfoot crab

Commonly found across the Pacific Coast of the Americas, this species only grows to have a carapace (shell) 1.2 inches wide. There small size allows them to quickly hide in the crevices of the reef to escape from predators.

Check back next week to see what’s new! 

Animal Updates – July 27

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 Vanilla Vine

Guests can now spot a Vanilla Vine (vanilla planifolia or the vanilla orchid) climbing in our Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit.

This vine climbs the trunks of trees throughout the world’s tropics.  Originally native to Mexico, this species has been spread around the globe, farmed for its valuable seed pod, in order to produce vanilla flavoring.  In its native habitat the flower, which will eventually produce the desired pod, is pollinated by a small stingless bee that is endemic to Mexico.  This confined the vanilla industry because without the particular species bee, the pods would not form.  It was only when the discovery that the flower could be hand pollinated that the vanilla industry was able to spread worldwide.

New Damselfish 

Two brightly colored Azure Damselfish have been added to our Survival through Adaptation exhibit.

These fish are easy to spot because of their bright blue and yellow coloration!

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


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