Archive for the 'Video' Category



Blacktip Reef Update: Acrylic Installation

We cannot wait for our new exhibit, Blacktip Reef, to open in summer of 2013! This coral-filled exhibit, replicating an Indo-Pacific ocean habitat, will feature 15 exciting species including blacktip reef sharks, reticulated whiptail rays, and ornate wobbegong sharks. It will also be the new home for some of our most beloved animals, including our 400-pound green sea turtle Calypso, and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe. Guests will be able to experience this lively reef from many vantage points, including a new floor-to-ceiling pop-out viewing window that allows you to virtually step inside the exhibit.

It’s a long journey to opening day. Between animal transports, exhibit demolition, new construction, and habitat fabrication, as well as the acquisition of new animals, we’ll have a lot to update you on leading up to next summer. As we continue to build the future home of Blacktip Reef, stay tuned to learn about new changes here on our WATERblog!

Our construction team has been very busy over the last few months building our new Blacktip Reef exhibit!

To give visitors a 160 degree panoramic view of our new Indo-Pacific reef and its inhabitants, the Aquarium had to install a 28 foot acrylic window in one piece. Installing a window of this size proved to be quite a challenge. Our biggest hurdle? Getting the large piece into the building!

Watch this video to see the acrylic piece be lifted into the building and installed into the exhibit:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ7iKzTNDEo]

To fit this large piece into the exhibit, the construction crew had to remove a large exterior window and use crane to lift it two stories.

After being pulled into the building, the acrylic then had to be lowered down one story to be properly installed into the exhibit space.

This new floor-to-ceiling look out area will give visitors the opportunity to step into the reef, experience the vibrant coral and get close to the diverse array of animals!

An artistic rendering of the floor-to-ceiling pop-out window

An artistic rendering of the floor-to-ceiling pop-out window.

Stay tuned for more Blacktip Reef updates! 

Super Bowl XLVII: Our Birds Support THE Birds!

National Aquarium has been so happy to join our hometown community in cheering on the Baltimore Ravens as they made their way to Super Bowl XLVII!

From pep rallies to our friendly #SuperFISHBowl competition with San Francisco’s California Academy of Sciences, here’s a re-cap of our week leading up to tonight’s game: 

– It’s ON. The Aquarium and California Academy of Sciences are take our own friendly rivalry off the green and into the blue in the first-ever Super FISH Bowl! CLICK HERE TO SUPPORT BALTIMORE AND THE NATIONAL AQUARIUM

– Hosting a Super Bowl party? Check out these sustainable seafood recipes!

– Our dolphins had a blast playing catch with Mo Rocca for his CBS This Morning segment on Baltimore! 

Mo Rocca

Our dolphins loved getting some extra play time with Mo!

– For the last Purple Friday of the season, Puffin and Aquarium staff were out in the Inner Harbor for the Today Show’s pep rally!

Puffin and Natalie Morales

Puffin and Natalie Morales became fast friends!

Win or lose, we couldn’t be prouder of our hometown team and thank them for an amazing season!

Don’t forget to support Baltimore in the #SuperFISHBowl and GO RAVENS!!!

TODAY Show’s Erica Hill Visits National Aquarium, Baltimore!

National Aquarium, Baltimore recently had a very exciting guest, Erica Hill from NBC’s Today Show, join for a behind-the-scenes day  to help care for our animals and learn more about our Marine Animal Rescue Program!

Erica Hill at National Aquarium

CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE VIDEO OF ERICA’S VISIT

To kick off her behind-the-scenes visit, Erica met with Poulpe, our giant Pacific octopus! She began by making and feeding the octopus some fish treats with our Aquarist, Morgan. Morgan then offered Erica the opportunity to touch Poulpe! Not expecting a tentacle handshake so early in the morning, Erica had to build up the courage to touch him. With Morgan’s reassurance and watchful eye, Erica let Poulpe stick to her! And now they can be best friends for life, right, Erica?

Erica Hill and National Aquarium octopus

Poulpe saying hello to Erica!

Erica then moved on to our Dolphin Discovery exhibit to meet our Atlantic bottlenose dolphins! Here she learned about our daily husbandry exams from Allison, our manager of marine mammal training. In these daily exams, our staff checks the health of each of the eight dolphins. Erica learned the commands to get the dolphins to allow her examination of their dorsal fin and tail. She also got to have a little fun by participating a dolphin enrichment session!

Erica Hill with National Aquarium dolphins

Erica and the dolphins were fast friends!

After the excitement of bonding with Poulpe and the dolphins, it was onto Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes. Here, Erica helped our aviculturist, Mallorie, care for the many birds that call this immersive exhibit home, including Rosie our cockatoo! Erica helped our exhibit staff prep all kinds of bird food – from fresh fruit to live worms!

Erica Hill and National Aquarium cockatoo

Erica assisting our staff with Rosie the cockatoo

After helping with the Australia birds, Erica also got to help our herpetologist, Kyle, with a stingray and barramundi feeding. During her feeding, she even shared some of her new animal knowledge with Aquarium guests! (We’re ready to hire you if you’re ever looking for work, Erica!)

Erica Hill at National Aquarium

Erica and Kyle explaining what stingrays eat

The second part of Erica’s day with us was spent at our off-site Animal Care Facility, where she met some of the turtle patients being cared for by our Marine Animal Rescue Program (MARP) team. MARP team member, Amber, shared many stories from her amazing experience on the team rescuing and caring for seals and turtles.

Erica Hill with National Aquarium rescue turtles

Erica and Amber talking turtle resuces

One of Erica’s favorite turtles to meet was the young loggerhead turtle hatchling survivor that our team rescued shortly before Hurricane Sandy.

National Aquarium rescue turtle hatchling

National Aquarium rescue turtle hatchling!

After spending the day with us, Erica’s biggest take way was this: “the National Aquarium’s goal is simple: educate and inspire conservation.”

From all of us here at National Aquarium, we would like to sincerely thank Erica and the Today Show team for visiting us! We hope to see you again soon!

Ray Lewis’ dance like you’ve never seen before…underwater!

It’s NFL playoff weekend and both of our National Aquarium venues are showing their support!

In honor of Baltimore icon, Ray Lewis, this National Aquarium diver performs Ray’s signature dance under water in the Aquarium’s Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit. Even looming sharks can’t dampen his purple pride!

ray lewis national aquarium

The Playoff frenzy continues at the National Aquarium, DC where aquarist Nick proudly hails the Redskins with his team jersey. The fish behind him had to stop to admire his Redskins pride.

redskins at national aquarium

Margaret, our blue hyacinth macaw, even showed her Ravens team spirit by tearing up the rival Colts logo!

blue hyacinth macaw

And don’t forget – at sunset, the National Aquarium, Baltimore will light our Pier 3 lights purple in honor of the Ravens!

Guests are encouraged to show their team spirit by wearing Ravens and Redskins gear during their visit to the Aquarium all weekend!

Thoughtful Thursdays: Update on Rescued Sea Turtles

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jWHshbM6iE]

2013 is off to a busy start!

As we mentioned in a previous post, our Marine Animal Rescue Program (MARP) is currently caring for seven patients in our Animal Care Center’s sea turtle rehab area. All of our patients have come from the New England Aquarium, where there has been a historic influx of cold-stunned turtles.

Their rescue team has been doing an amazing job responding and treating more than 200 turtles in just a few short months. Once some of their patients were deemed healthy enough for travel, they were transported to animal care institutions along the east coast for additional treatment and release.

Our Associate Veterinarian Kat Hadfield prepares for the ride back to Baltimore with one of our current patients! Photo via NEAQ

Our Associate Veterinarian Kat Hadfield prepares for the ride back to Baltimore with one of our current patients! Photo via NEAQ

All seven of our patients (three Kemp’s ridleys, three green sea turtles and one loggerhead) are being treated for cold-stunning – a hypothermic reaction that occurs when sea turtles are exposed to cold water for a prolonged period of time.

Unfortunately, as water temperatures drop, it impairs a turtles’ ability to swim/dive normally. This puts them at a greater risk of being struck by things in the water, such as boat propellers. That was the case for our loggerhead patient, who also sustained multiple injuries, including one that required amputation of its right front flipper.

These deep cuts in the loggerhead's carapace (shell) were likely done by a boat propeller.

These deep cuts in the loggerhead’s carapace (shell) were likely done by a boat propeller.

We’re happy to report that this turtle is healing well on its own and is eating a lot (it is currently enjoying a well-rounded diet of crab, squid, shrimp and fish)!

Even with his injury, the loggerhead is swimming well and enjoys exploring his temporary home!

Even with his injury, the loggerhead is swimming well and enjoys exploring his temporary home!

Due to his steady improvement and recovery, we hope to be able to release this turtle in the coming weeks. We will be tracking him via satellite to collect additional data to support our past research on how turtles with front flipper amputations survive in the wild.

To learn more about MARP and how you can help support our animal rescue efforts, visit aqua.org/MARP.

Want to get more behind-the-scenes access to what’s happening here at the Aquarium? Subscribe to our YouTube channel for updates on our animals, rescues/releases and the construction of our new exhibit, Blacktip Reef! 

Thanks for Making 2012 an Amazing Year!

At this special time of year, the National Aquarium is grateful for so many things—for our talented staff, for our dedicated volunteers, the generosity of our loyal supporters. By making a personal commitment to the National Aquarium, you make it possible for us to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures every day.

Please enjoy this video as we look back at our accomplishments in 2012 here at the Aquarium.

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIqJBgf8Fcw]

Every year, more than 1.5 million people are inspired to conserve the world’s aquatic treasures by participating in conservation and educational programming and enjoying our world-class exhibits in both Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD.

Volunteers of all ages came out to support our conservation department's annual dolphin count in Ocean City this year!

Volunteers of all ages came out to support our conservation department’s annual dolphin count in Ocean City this year!

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit institution, we depend upon the support of individuals, foundations, and corporations to provide engaging experiences that excite young people about aquatic life and habitats; welcome diverse audiences from throughout the community; restore fragile Chesapeake Bay wetlands; and rescue, rehabilitate, and release imperiled marine animals.

Your support has been critical to the continued work of our MARP team to rescue and rehabilitate turtles, including this loggerhead hatchling!

Your support this year helped our MARP team rescue and rehabilitate many turtles, including this loggerhead hatchling!

From our family in DC and Baltimore, thanks for helping to make 2012 an amazing year! We can’t wait to see what 2013 brings! Donations made to our institution are tax-deductible and can be made in a variety of ways. Want to help support a specific initiative or program? Check out our teams’ wishlists.

Blacktip Reef Update: Meet the Animals!

We cannot wait for our new exhibit, Blacktip Reef, to open in summer of 2013! This coral-filled exhibit, replicating an Indo-Pacific ocean habitat, will feature 15 exciting species including blacktip reef sharks, reticulated whiptail rays, and ornate wobbegong sharks. It will also be the new home for some of our most beloved animals, including our 400-pound green sea turtle Calypso, and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe. Guests will be able to experience this lively reef from many vantage points, including a new floor-to-ceiling pop-out viewing window that allows you to virtually step inside the exhibit.

It’s a long journey to opening day. Between animal transports, exhibit demolition, new construction, and habitat fabrication, as well as the acquisition of new animals, we’ll have a lot to update you on leading up to next summer. As we continue to build the future home of Blacktip Reef, stay tuned to learn about new changes here on our WATERblog!

Our teams have been busy all over the Aquarium preparing for Blacktip Reef! Animal care is our number one priority, so one of the biggest jobs is caring for the animals that will soon be added to the new exhibit.

Beginning in summer 2013, guests will be able to  see new animals like blacktip reef sharks, reticulated whiptail rays, ornate wobbegong sharks and napoleon wrasse!

Napoleon wrasse

Napoleon wrasse

The namesake animal of the new exhibit, the blacktip reef shark, is a smaller shark species that can grow to about 6 feet in length and bears distinctive black tips on its fins. Blacktip reef sharks are found in the shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific, hanging around reefs to feed. These sharks are sleek, beautiful, fast-moving, and hunt cooperatively in groups.

Blacktip reef shark

Blacktip reef shark

These facinating new species will be joined by some of National Aquarium’s most beloved animals, including Calypso, our 400-pound green sea turtle, and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe!

green sea turtle

Calypso

Watch this video to learn more about the amazing animals that will be living in Blacktip Reef

Below are some of the other amazing species that will be joining our Blacktip Reef family!

  • Blotched fantail ray (Taeniurops)
  • Blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus)
  • Bluefin trevally (Caranx melampygus)
  • Bluestripe seaperch (Lutjanus kasmira)
  • Clown triggerfish (Balistoides conspicillum)
  • Emperor angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator)
  • Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas))
  • Reticulate whipray (Himantura uarnak)
  • Napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus)
  • Ornate wobbegong (Orectolobus ornatus)
  • Tasselled wobbegong (Eucrossorhinus dasypogon)
  • Potato cod (Epinephelus tukula)
  • Semicircle angelfish (Pomacanthus semicirculatus)
  • Spotted unicornfish (Naso brevirostris)
  • Zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum)

Stay tuned for more Blacktip Reef updates! 


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