Posts Tagged 'baby animals'

Australia Staff Caring for Eight Snapping Turtle Hatchlings!

We’re excited to share that our staff in Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes is now caring for eight snapping turtle hatchlings!

snapping turtle hatchlings

After announcing our first hatchling in late February, Aquarium staff have been very excited to see so many additional hatchlings emerge! The National Aquarium is the only Aquarium in the United States to house this turtle species. This occasion marks the first time any facility has successfully bred northern Australian snapping turtles!

All of our hatchlings are doing great – staff have observed them exhibiting lots of healthy behavior like swimming and basking in the open. The team will continue to monitor and care for these babies behind-the-scenes until they’re are grown enough to transition into the exhibit habitats.

Stay tuned for more updates as these hatchlings continue to grow! 

2013 Re-Cap: Our Family’s New Additions

In 2013, was a year filled with very exciting births here at the National Aquarium!

From sloths to sharks, check out what animals joined the family this past year:

Scout

In November, our Rain Forest staff noticed that one of our Linne’s two-toed sloths, Ivy, had given birth to a baby!

national aquarium baby sloth scout

Scout is the fourth sloth born at the National Aquarium. His sibling, Camden, was just born in the Fall of 2012.

Linne’s two-toed sloths are commonly found in South America’s rain forests, where they spend almost their entire lives in the trees. They are nocturnal by nature, fairly active at night while spending most of the day sleeping.

Puffin Chick

In July, most of the world was on royal baby watch. At the Aquarium, however, we were obsessing over our newest addition – a puffin chick!

puffin chick

This baby is the fourth chick for puffin parents Victor and Vixen, the parents of the Aquarium’s first successful puffin chick back in 2006.

Did you know? Puffins co-parent their young and take turns incubating the egg, protecting their nest and carrying back food to keep their chick well-fed!

Chloe

Our sandbar shark pup, Chloe, was born at the Aquarium back in May!

national aquarium sandbar shark

Chloe is the first pup our female sandbar shark has had since coming to our facility in 2003. Female sandbars are known to have a range of 1 to 14 pups throughout their lifetime.

Given the low survival rates of shark pups, we are very excited to see how well Chloe is doing in our Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit!

Motmot Chicks

Earlier this year, four blue-crowned motmot chicks were born in our Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit.

blue crowned motmot chick

This was the second successful brood for our pair of motmots. They produced their first set of chicks back in 2011!

Blue-crowned motmots are known for their unusual nesting behaviors – parent birds actually excavate long tunnels into the earth, where they lay their eggs and raise their offspring!

Celebrating any new additions to your family this year? Tell us about them in the comments section! 

Hey, you just met me, and I’m a baby, but I’m too lazy, so name me, maybe?

baby sloth

Hello, my name is…

Baby Sloth Naming Contest to Coincide with International Sloth Day

In honor of International Sloth Day on October 20, National Aquarium will launch a naming contest for the Linne’s two-toed sloth born in Baltimore in late August.  This baby is the newest addition to our Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit and the first born to Ivy, one of the four sloths in the exhibit, is the third sloth born at National Aquarium, Baltimore.

CLICK HERE TO SUGGEST A NAME! 

The public is invited to visit www.aqua.org/slothcontest between now and November 1 to submit name suggestions.  A panel of National Aquarium staff will review and consider all entries.  Then, from November 2 to 15, the public can vote on one of four names selected by the panel. The winning name will be announced on the morning of November 16!

International Sloth Day aims to bring awareness to illegal trafficking and the mistreatment of sloths in Central and South America. The AIUNA foundation, the starters of International Sloth Day rehabilitate sloths that have been injured by power lines, hit by cars or sold illegally and release them back into the wild.

linne's two toed sloth

Ivy and baby

The Linne’s two-toed sloth is currently not threatened however other species of sloth, such as the maned three-toed sloth and pygmy three-toed sloth are endangered. The sloths at National Aquarium, Baltimore help to inform people of the plight of all sloths from threats such as habitat loss and fragmentation of forests as well as to inspire conservation, protection and welfare of these and other animals. Forest fragmentation forces sloths to come to the ground to travel to additional food trees. On the ground, they become easy prey for dogs and humans. Additionally, many sloths are either killed or injured when trying to cross roadways, others are electrocuted by overhead electrical lines.

Sloths have been an ongoing part of the animal collection at National Aquarium. The two oldest sloths currently living in the rain forest, Syd and Ivy, were acquired in May 2007 from a private captive breeder in South Florida. The other two sloths, Howie and Xeno, were born at National Aquarium in 2008 and 2010, respectively.

Linne’s two-toed sloths are commonly found in South America’s rain forests, where they spend almost their entire lives in the trees. They are nocturnal by nature, fairly active at night while spending most of the day sleeping. Adult sloths are typically the size of a small dog, approximately 24-30 inches in length and about 12–20 pounds in weight.

Ivy and her new infant are free roaming in the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit. Photos and video of the baby and mother sloth are available on the Aquarium’s WATERblog here: http://ow.ly/ey0uG.

And don’t forget to click here to suggest a name! 

Welcome our new baby sloth!

We are so proud to welcome a new addition to the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit – a Linne’s two-toed sloth was born in late August! The baby is the first born to Ivy, one of the four sloths in the exhibit, and is the third sloth born at National Aquarium.

During a daily routine checkup, National Aquarium staff observed Ivy carrying a newborn. The baby was born fully haired and already had its trademark claws! Staff are keeping a close eye on the two and have spotted the baby actively nursing. Upon initial observations, the baby sloth seems strong and healthy, and is actively clinging and crawling about on its mom. Animal care staff suspects the baby will continue to cling to its mother for the first several weeks of life. Sloths can remain dependant on their mothers for up to a year. As time goes on, the young sloth will begin exploring its immediate surroundings and eating solid foods.

Linne’s two-toed sloths are commonly found in South America’s rain forests, where they spend their entire lives in the trees. They are nocturnal by nature, fairly active at night while spending most of the day sleeping. Adult sloths are typically the size of a small dog, approximately 24–30 inches in length and about 12–20 pounds in weight.

Sloths have been an ongoing part of the animal collection at National Aquarium. The two oldest sloths currently living in the rain forest, Syd and Ivy, were acquired in May 2007 from a private captive breeder in South Florida. The other two sloths, Howie and Xeno, were born at National Aquarium in 2008 and 2010, respectively.

“Despite the fact that the two-toed sloth is a fairly common animal, many of its most basic behaviors are still a mystery because they are rarely observed,” commented Ken Howell, curator of Rain Forest Exhibits at National Aquarium. “We’re thrilled to welcome the new baby to our family and we hope that it will increase awareness and interest in this group of most unusual mammals.”

Ivy and her new infant are free roaming in the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit and will be particularly good at hiding in the trees for at least a few weeks.

Stay tuned for more updates about our newest addition! 

Terrapins Go Back to School!

As children from across Maryland head back to school, students from 32 schools are welcoming baby turtles to their classrooms!

Through the National Aquarium’s Terrapins in the Classroom program, hatchling diamondback turtles are collected from Poplar Island and placed in schools across the state. This year’s terrapins hatched in late July and early August. Aquarium staff cared for them until they began to eat regularly. This week and next week, the terrapins are being delivered to their new schools!

A terrapin hatchling

Students are charged with collecting growth data on the terrapins, observing their behavior, and researching their natural history. Along the way, they learn basic husbandry (animal care) skills and gain a unique connection to the Chesapeake Bay. At the end of the school year, students will release their terrapin back on Poplar Island.

Last school year, Matthew Floyd, an eighth grader from Lime Kiln Middle School, made a special connection with the terrapin at his school. Nicknamed “Leo” by the students, the terrapin was a key component of the school’s special education program. Every day Matt made sure to stop by to check on Leo and feed him. Matt’s experience with Leo taught him about how his actions can impact the environment. “We humans are finally learning from our mistakes, and that means everyone’s happy, including our animal friends,” he said.

This school year, hundreds of students, just like Matt, will develop a meaningful connection with their terrapin. Through this hands-on approach to conservation, the Terrapins in the Classroom program hopes to inspire life-long environmental stewardship.

Students get a closer look at a baby terrapin

The good news is there are many ways that you, too, can help diamondback terrapins! You can do your part by protecting wetlands, helping to ensure trash does not end up in our waterways, and practicing terrapin-safe crabbing!


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