Archive for the 'Animal Update' Category

Animal Update – June 6

national aquarium animal update

Purple Tang in Surviving Through Adaptation

The purple tang’s coloration ranges from a light violet to a deep blue. They can be easily recognized by the small dark spots that appear on their face!

purple tang

Did you know? These vibrantly colored tangs can be found throughout the coral reefs of the Red Sea. Tangs are generally quite active swimmers and primarily graze on algae!

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

Animal Update – May 23

national aquarium animal update

Spotfin Butterflyfish in Survival Through Adaptation

A spotfin butterflyfish has been added to the Lurking gallery within our Survival Through Adaptation exhibit!

national aquarium spotfin butterflyfish

Did you know? The black bar across the eyes of the butterflyfish help it confuse predators.

This fish is found in the Western Atlantic, from the east coast of the United States to Brazil.

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

Animal Update – May 9

national aquarium animal update

Stoplight Parrotfish in Atlantic Coral Reef

Two stoplight parrotfish have been added to our Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit!

stoplight parrotfish national aquarium

Photo via Flickr user Carl Haupt.

Stoplight parrotfish can be found throughout the tropical waters of the western Atlantic!

Did you know? Parrotfish are herbivores that depend on algae from the reef for sustenance. Their fused teeth help the fish crush coral, which passes through their digestive system and is deposited back on the reef as sand! A parrotfish can produce up to one ton of coral sand a year!

Fairy Basslets in Atlantic Coral Reef

Fairy basslets are small, vibrantly colored fish. With purple fronts and yellow tails, their bodies are split into two colors with a black spot on their dorsal fins.

national aquarium fairy basslet

These fish are known to swim upside-down under ledges and along cave ceilings. They live in colonies and defend their territory from other species (and even other fairy basslets). Male fairy basslets are responsible for guarding and caring for the eggs and the nest!

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

Animal Update – May 2

national aquarium animal update

Red-bellied Piranha’s in Amazon River Forest

Ten red-bellied piranhas have been added to our Amazon River Forest exhibit!

national aquarium red-bellied piranha

Red-bellied piranhas can be found throughout the Amazon River basin. They are omnivorous scavengers, feeding mostly on a mix of insects, worms, crustaceans and smaller fish.

Although they’ve gained a ferocious reputation over the years, piranhas do not pose any attack risks to humans.

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

Animal Update – April 25

national aquarium animal update

Puddingwife Wrasse in Atlantic Coral Reef!

A puddingwife wrasse has been added to our Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit!

puddingwife wrasse

The puddingwife wrasse is native to the reefs of the western Atlantic (from North Carolina to Trinidad and Tobago).

This species prefers the shallow areas of the reef, where it can easily feed on sea urchins, crustaceans and brittle stars.

According to the IUCN Red List, the puddingwife is a fairly abundant species!

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

Animal Update – April 18

national aquarium animal update

Spotted Lagoon Jellies in Jellies Invasion!

We have spotted lagoon jellies now on exhibit in Jellies Invasion: Oceans Out of Balance!

Did you know? Instead of a single mouth, this species of jelly has many small mouth openings on its oral arms, which capture plankton.

These jellies love the sunlight! It fuels the growth of symbiotic algae in their tissues, giving them a greenish-brown to blue color in the wild.

Spotted lagoon jellies can be found throughout the South Pacific!

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

Animal Rescue Update: 13 Turtles Ready for Release This Week!

national aquarium Animal Rescue Update

Our Animal Rescue team is excited to announce that 13 of our current sea turtle patients in rehabilitation are going to be released this week! Animal Rescue and Animal Health staff have been busy the last few weeks clearing patients for releasing, making sure all releasable turtles have their required tags, and making sure we have all the pertinent paperwork and permits for the transport and release.

This Wednesday, several staff from the National Aquarium will pack the turtles for their long road trip south. So, how exactly do you transport a sea turtle? Each turtle is fitted for an appropriate sized transport carrier, which is padded with foam and towels to provide lots of cushion and support.

Each turtle will receive some fluids just under their skin to help keep them hydrated, and they’ll also get a water-based lubricant massaged onto their shell to help retain moisture, and some sterile eye lubricant helps keep their eyes moist. Finally, each turtle will be packed into our temperature-controlled transport vehicle and will be safely secured for the transport.

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Once our vehicle is ready, our staff will make the 800 mile drive to northeast Florida to release the turtles. We’ll have a total of 9 Kemp’s ridley and 4 green sea turtles to release on this trip, and the much warmer waters of Florida are perfect this time of year.

Stay tuned for more updates on their release, as well as updates on our remaining rehab patients!

national aquarium animal rescue expert


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