Posts Tagged 'exhibit updates'



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 28

national aquarium animal update

Balloonfish in Lurking

A balloonfish has been added to our Lurking exhibit!

national aquarium balloonfish

Balloonfish are mostly nocturnal animals, spending most of their nights feeding on a mixed diet of mollusks, sea urchins and crabs.

Did you know? Balloonfish have fused teeth, especially designed to crush through the shells of their prey!

Like other species of pufferfish, this species will fill with water and expand to nearly twice its size when threatened.

Wolf Eel in Kelp Forest

A small wolf eel has nicely settled into our Kelp Forest exhibit!

national aquarium wolf eel

Did you know? Wolf eels are not actually eels, instead they part of the Anarhichadidae family of “wolf fishes.” These animals are fairly solitary and territorial – they have even been observed in the wild biting at sharks to keep them out of their caves!

This fish lives in the North Pacific from the Sea of Japan, to islands off the coast of Alaska, to the coast of southern California.

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

Animal Update – March 14

national aquarium animal update

Purple Urchins in Surviving Through Adaptation

Five purple sea urchins have been added to our Surviving Through Adaptation exhibit.

national aquarium sea urchin

Did you know? Sea urchins are sometimes referred to as sea hedgehogs! These spiny animals are echnioderms – they’re related to sea stars, sand dollars and sea cucumbers.

Sea urchins have movable spines that are used mostly for protection. Depending on the species, the spines can be solid, hollow or filled with poison!

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!

Animal Update – February 28

national aquarium animal update

Graysby in Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit! 

A graysby has been added to our Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit!

national aquarium graysby

Did you know? Graysby fish are solitary and secretive animals. The often spend most of their day hiding in spots within the coral reefs where they make their home.

Graysbys vary in coloration from light grey to brown. These fish are covered in many small reddish spots!

national aquarium graysby

The graysby’s range includes the Western Atlantic Oceans from North Carolina to southern Florida, as well as the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.

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

Animal Update – February 21

national aquarium animal update

California Moray in Kelp Forest

A California moray eel was recently added to our Kelp Forest exhibit!

national aquarium california moray

This species of moray, native to southern California (from Santa Barbara to Baja), varies in coloration from dark brown to green and can grow to be up to five feet in length!

California moray eels live in the crevices or holes along shallow reef areas. These eels feed mostly at night on crustaceans, octopuses, sea urchins and small fish.

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

Cranes, beams and things

Something “big” is happening!

This morning we began the construction of a 4-ton steel platform…at the bottom of our 16,500-gallon Wings in the Water exhibit.

This is not your typical construction job. This project requires a group of Aquarium divers and commercial divers to install very large stainless steel I-beams at the bottom of an exhibit, while underwater! For the next six to seven days, at least six divers at a time will be in the water 24 hours a day.

The main I-beam was brought into the Aquarium early this morning, lifted into the building with the help of a crane. It is 22 feet long, 14 inches wide, 32 inches tall, and weighs 2,000 pounds!

When finished, the structure will weigh 10,000 pounds. It’s a big job, but just a small part of how we care for our animals and our exhibits. More than 40 animals live in this exhibit alone, including a variety of stingrays, sharks and a green sea turtle.

Click here to see more photos of the I-beam installation, and stay tuned for more updates from our underwater construction team!

You can help us keep our exhibits up to date! Text “RESTORE” to 20222 to donate $5 toward this and other Aquarium restoration projects. With you, we make a difference.


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