Posts Tagged 'baby animals'



Puffin chicks hatched in Sea Cliffs exhibit!

Just weeks ago, we welcomed two new puffin chicks to our Sea Cliffs exhibit!

Back in 2006, we were happy to report the first successful hatching of a puffin chick at the National Aquarium. The parents, Victor and Vixen, presented us with another healthy chick in 2010, later named Vinny.  On June 28, 2011, they hatched their third little puffin! The chick weighed 40 grams at the time of the hatch, and weighed 90 grams at 8 days old. This follows the weight pattern of his older brother.

Just a little over a week later, on July 6, first-time puffin parents Tex and Kingster hatched their own chick, making this the Aquarium’s first year for multiple puffin hatchings. This chick weighed 39.4 grams at the time of the hatch and 168 grams at 12 days old.

For the next several weeks, the young puffins will remain in their burrows while they are cared for by their parents. Visitors may see the parents bringing fish into the nest burrows, which are located in the far left side of the exhibit.

When they are about 45 days old, they should begin exploring life outside of the burrow and will be visible to the public. Check back here in the upcoming weeks for updates and naming opportunities!

Here is a video of the first chick being weighed just days ago:

Curious about what it takes to care for puffins? Be an early bird to the Aquarium on August 28 for a talk with one of our aviculturists, from 7:45–9 a.m. Light breakfast fare will be provided. Cost: $30, includes Aquarium admission. Member price: $8. Reserve your ticket by calling 410-727-3474.

Name our new puffin chick!

On June 24, we welcomed the arrival of a puffin hatchling! This was just the second successful puffin chick to hatch at the National Aquarium. During breeding season, puffins lay only one egg in a clutch. If that egg is crushed or infertile, they may replace the egg, but generally puffins lay just one egg and raise one chick a year. puffin chick

The Atlantic puffin hatched after a 37-day incubation period. During that time, the parents–named Victor and Vixen–took turns incubating the egg by nestling it between their body and wing to keep it warm. Upon hatching, the chick weighed just 40 grams. For the first month, the parents cared for the chick in their burrow, while the Aquarium aviculturists monitored the chick’s growth and health carefully.

It is always best to keep young animals with their parents whenever possible. In this case, the parents did a great job helping the young chick grow and learn how to be a puffin! After one month, the chick weighed more than 350 grams and was eating 10-15 fish a day.

Continue reading ‘Name our new puffin chick!’

A baby boom in DC

A baby boom has hit our DC venue!  If you haven’t visited our gem in the Nation’s Capital, now is a great time to bring your kids to meet our kids. Let’s take a look at some of our adorable DC residents.  

Four young American alligators are currently residing in the Everglades National Park Exhibit.  These alligators are a little over a year old and just about a foot and half long. They will eventually grow to 10-14 feet. They are a part of the Aquarium’s head start program and will eventually be returned to their native habitat. They are being fed, conditioned, and grown to a size where they can remain viable and thrive when released back into their natural surroundings.

 

The Amazon River habitat is home to a two-year old polka dot stingray pup. Most stingrays are found in saltwater but this specie is one of several freshwater stingrays found in South America. When born, the pups are just 3-4 inches in diameter! He is now 10 inches big.

Two baby loggerhead sea turtles can be found swimming about the Grey’s Reef exhibit. As hatchlings they are typically about 2 inches long and weigh less than an ounce.  These young turtles are 3 months old and about six inches long. They are also a part of our head start program that is helping to rebuild sea turtle populations, and will be released back to the ocean in about 2 years. Adult loggerheads can reach 500 lbs! 

There are also plenty of young fish swimming about the Aquarium exhibits. The Atlantic Patch Reef is home to a variety of interesting babies like the foureye butterflyfish, the trunkfish, and the scrawled cowfish pictured below. He is just over an inch but will grow to 15 inches as an adult.

As you can see, the National Aquarium, DC is booming with young life. Which baby is your favorite?


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