Posts Tagged 'blacktip reef'

Animal Update – April 4

national aquarium animal update

Neon Gobies in Atlantic Coral Reef 

Two neon gobies have been added to our Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit!

national aquarium neon goby

Generally, neon gobies only grow to be about 1 inch in length.

Did you know? Gobies are cleaner fish! These animals can oftentimes be observed in grouped “cleaning stations” throughout the reef, where larger fish like damselfish or grunts can stop by for a quick parasite removal.

Gilded Triggerfish in Blacktip Reef

If you’ve tuned into Shark Cam lately, chances are you’ve spotted Blacktip Reef‘s gilded triggerfish!

national aquarium gilded triggerfish

The gilded triggerfish, also known as the blue-throated triggerfish, can be found throughout the reefs of the Indo-Pacific. This is one of approximately 40 species of triggerfish identified worldwide.

Triggerfish are normally shy and solitary, but they can be very aggressive. Some may charge or attack intruders. When hiding from predators, triggerfish lock themselves into small openings with their trigger fin and bite down on the coral or rock to ensure their safety.

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

Animal Update – March 7

national aquarium animal update

Blue Hamlet in Atlantic Coral Reef

A blue hamlet has been added to our Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit!

national aquarium blue hamlet

This fish, named for its iridescent blue hue, is native to Atlantic coral reef habitats (from the Florida Keys to Mexico).

Blue hamlets are typically very shy. They spend most of their days hiding in reef crevices.

Map Puffer in Blacktip Reef

Did you know? The map puffer is one of six species of pufferfish on exhibit in Blacktip Reef!

national aquarium map puffer

Map pufferfish can be found in reef habitats throughout the Indo-Pacific. Their oval shape and distinctive pattern make these fish easy to spot!

Map puffers are solitary animals. They mostly feed on invertebrates, sponges and algaes.

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

Blacktip Reef Update: Exhibit Thrives in Its First Six Months!

As our teams mark the six-month anniversary of Blacktip Reef, we’re happy to report that our newest exhibit continues to thrive and evolve!

This Indo-Pacific reef habitat is now home to 779 animals representing 70 species including blacktip reef sharks, clown triggerfish, tasseled wobbegongs, a humphead wrasse, stingrays, a green sea turtle and more!

Here’s a re-cap of some of the exciting things that have happened in Blacktip Reef over the last six months: 

  • The Aquarium has welcomed over 381,000 visitors in the six months since Blacktip Reef opened on August 8th!
  • More than 46,000 students have experienced the new exhibit.
  • As part of our ongoing partnership with Discovery Channel, our live Shark Cam has reached over 2.6 million viewers!
  • Our education and biological programs teams have shared more than 1,400 interactive presentations, shark feedings, diver talks and education carts with the public.
  • According to data collected by IMPACTS Research & Development, the opening of Blacktip Reef has further enhanced the National Aquarium’s reputation as one of the “top three” aquariums in the United States!

We’re proud to have created not only a beautiful exhibit, but one that has inspired our guests to care about Indo-Pacific coral reefs and their inhabitants, and to feel they have a stake in our mission to preserve and protect them!

For more information on how Blacktip Reef is doing after its first six months, check out our full press release.

Have you had the opportunity to visit Blacktip Reef? Share your experience with us in the comments section! 

Animal Update – January 10

national aquarium animal update

Guieafowl Puffer Introduced into Blacktip Reef!

A guineafowl puffer has been successfully introduced into our Blacktip Reef exhibit!

national aquarium blacktip reef guineafowl puffer

Guineafowl puffers can be found in coral reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific region. They are omnivorous, feeding mainly on the tips of branching corals and, to a lesser extent, on sponges, mollusks, bryozoans, tunicates, forams, algae, and detritus.

Like other puffers, this species has the ability to inflate with water or air for protection!

Toby the Blue Lobster Settled into Atlantic Shelf

national aquarium blue lobster toby

Earlier this week, our blue lobster Toby was introduced into the Atlantic Shelf gallery of our Maryland: Mountains to the Sea exhibit. We’re happy to report that Toby has settled nicely into his new home!

Did you know? The genetic variation responsible for Toby’s blue hue occurs in 1 of every 2 million lobsters.

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

2013 Re-cap: The Making of Blacktip Reef

This year, many of us here at the Aquarium had one thing on the brain - Blacktip Reef

From demolition to animal acquisitions, construction to animal introductions, countless hours of work from all of our departments went into the creation of this $12.5 million dollar exhibit!

As 2013 comes to a close, we’d like to take a moment to look back at how Blacktip Reef was made: 

Animal Transports

Before construction could begin on our new exhibit, the animals in our old Wings in the Water exhibit had to be safely removed!

Many of the animals that called Wings in the Water home, like our zebra sharks (Zeke and Zoe) and green sea turtle (Calypso) were moved behind-the-scenes, where they could patiently await the creation of their new home. Others were moved to other exhibits at the Aquarium or to other accredited institutions.

Want to see how we transport animals like our 500+ pound sea turtle? Check out our video:

Construction

After all the animals had been safely removed from the exhibit space and the necessary demolition was finished, the construction phase could begin!

Blacktip Reef‘s construction process included the installation of a 28 foot acrylic window and the individual placement of over 3,000 coral pieces, creating the perfect re-creation of an Indo-Pacific reef habitat.

Want to see how all of that coral was crafted by hand? Check out our video: 

Animal Introductions

The process of introducing animals into the exhibit began in early July, with the transport of Calypso!

Calypso

After Calypso and a few hundred fish had acclimated well to their new home, all 20 of our blacktip reef sharks were added to the exhibit.

In October, our last animals were introduced into the exhibit! Over the period of two weeks, we added three wobbegong sharks and a huge Napoleon wrasse!

national aquarium humphead wrasse

It has been an incredibly busy and rewarding year. From all of us here at the Aquarium, we’d like to sincerely thank everyone for their continued support!

Here’s how YOU can support the continued growth and evolution of our newest exhibit!


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