Archive for the 'Animal Update' Category



Animal Updates – October 4

More than 17,000 animals representing more than 750 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!

Meet our Queensland Grouper!

Our Queensland grouper, Bertha, is one of Blacktip Reef’s most distinguishable new residents! Since being introduced to her new home, Bertha has been happily exploring the nooks and crannies the reef – she especially loves the deep dive area!

national aquarium queensland grouper

Found in the warm waters of the Pacific, this large fish preys upon quite a variety of animals, including small sharks, rays, sea turtles, smaller fish, crabs and even spiny lobsters!

Measuring up to 9 feet in length and weighing around 800 pounds, Queensland groupers are the largest of reef bony fish species in the world! Apart from their sheer size, these fish can be easily recognized by their blotchy patterning and light yellow fins.

Check out this amazing footage of a giant Queensland grouper found off the coast of Heron Island (part of the Great Barrier Reef):

[youtube http://youtu.be/awxJRtYwDWc]

Did you know? Queensland groupers (like most other grouper species) are protogynous hermaphrodites! They start their lives as females and later will change sex once they hit sexual maturity.

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

Animal Update – September 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!

animal update

Bi-color parrotfish in Blacktip Reef

Did you know? Bi-color parrotfish sleep in bubbles of slime. Before finding their sleeping spot within the reef for the night, the parrotfish spins a cocoon around its body. The slimy bubble protects the parrotfish from nighttime predators by hiding its scent!

national aquarium bicolor parrotfish

Parrotfish get their name from their beak-like teeth and bright coloration. They use their “beaks” to eat the algae that grows on and around coral.

When the coral rock has travel through the parrotfish’s digestive system (which extracts the needed nutrients from the algae), it comes out as sand! A large bi-color parrotfish can produce up to 2,200 pounds of sand per year!

This species is found throughout the warm waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

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

Animal Updates – September 13

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!

Leidy’s comb jellies on exhibit! 

leidy's comb jelly

These amazing creatures can now be seen in  Jellies Invasion: Oceans out of Balance!

Did you know? Leidy’s comb jellies are bioluminescent, meaning they can make their own light (which they flash when disturbed).

leidy's comb jelly

This species looks different from other jellies because it’s not made up of a bell and tentacles. Instead, it is a translucent walnut-shaped body with wart-like bumps. For this reason, it’s sometimes called a sea walnut.

[youtube http://youtu.be/QLn43KDP4A4]

They make look “out-of-this-world,” but the natural range of this species is much closer than you think! They’re commonly found in the coastal waters of the Atlantic, from Cape Cod down to the Carolinas.

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

Animal Update – September 6

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!

Emperor Angelfish in Blacktip Reef!

This reef-dweller, native to the Indo-Pacific, can be spotted swimming around our newest exhibit, Blacktip Reef!

One of the most amazing things about this species is the transition of their patterning and coloration from juvenile to adult!

juvenile emperor angelfish

Juvenile emperor angelfish (pictured above) are typically a dark blue with white rings.

It will take anywhere between 24 and 30 months for the angelfish to fully transition into it’s adult coloration (pictured below)!

adult emperor angelfish

Emperor angelfish typically stick to the reef’s ledges, flats and/or outer lagoon patch reefs, where they’ll feed on sponges and similar organisms.

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

Animal Updates – August 30

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!

Our Giant Pacific Octopus exhibit is back up! 

After weeks of necessary habitat maintenance, our giant Pacific octopus is back on exhibit!

national aquarium giant pacific octopus

Did you know? Octopuses are mollusks, related to squid, clams, and snails. Like squid, they are cephalopods, meaning ‘head-foot’, so named because the feet (arms) are attached to the head.

They’re highly-intelligent animals. To encourage cognitive thinking, we offer our octopus enrichment toys. Watch this video of an octopus using its 1,800 suction cups to dismantle a Mr. Potato Head:

[youtube http://youtu.be/rlQM1rFwzPw]

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

Animal Updates – August 16

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!

Meet some of Blacktip Reef’s new fish residents:

Palette surgeonfish

national aquarium palette surgeonfish

Probably one of our most recognized species (Dory, is that you?), the palette surgeonfish can be found throughout the Indo-Pacific.

Did you know? All surgeonfish have venomous spines that run along the tops of their bodies. These sharp spines help to protect the fish from predators!

Oriental sweetlips

national aquarium oriental sweetlips

There are 35 species of “sweetlips” (including the oriental) found worldwide! These fish can be easily recognized by their big, fleshy lips!

Want to spot the oriental sweetlips in Blacktip Reef? Look for their vibrant yellow coloration and thick black and white stripes!

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

Animal Update – August 2

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!

Blue crab added to our Maryland: Mountains to the Sea exhibit! 

A feisty blue crab has been added to our Tidal Marsh gallery!

blue crab

Did you know? Blue crabs have three pairs of legs and primarily walk sideways.

Loss of habitat, combined with the blue crab’s popularity as a food for humans, has led to serious drops in populations. The population of Chesapeake Bay crabs has grown since 2001, but the future remains uncertain.

blue crab

Habitat restoration is essential for crab recovery. The National Aquarium invites you to help us restore marshes throughout the Chesapeake Bay.

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


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