Posts Tagged 'poison dart frog'

Celebrating Moms of ALL Species!

In celebration of Mother’s Day weekend, we’d like you to meet some spectacular animal moms!

Dolphins
Dolphin moms & calves immediately form a strong bond. They’ll synchronize their breathing and swim patterns for the baby’s first few weeks of life – to keep as close as possible. These dedicated moms will nurse their young for up to 10 years!

dolphin mom and calf

Veteran dolphin moms will also mentor less-experienced females in their colony by allowing them to babysit their young and practice for when they have their own babies.

Giant Pacific Octopuses
Female giant Pacific octopuses have one primary goal: to have one successful brood of eggs in her lifetime.

giant pacific octopus

Females will lay about 200,000 eggs in their lair and defend them at any cost. During the seven months of caring for her eggs, the female octopus is often almost starved to death – she’d ingest a limb before leaving her post for food.

Strawberry Poison Arrow Frogs
After laying her eggs and watching them hatch, strawberry poison arrow frog moms will carry their tadpoles (one by one) from the rain forest floor up trees as high as 100 feet!

strawberry poison frog

Then, she’ll find individual pools of water in the tree leaves for each of her tadpoles to grow, keeping them safe from predators.

Alligators
Alligator moms will go to great lengths to protect their young, including carrying alligator babies in their jaws for protection!

baby alligators

Juvenile American alligators at National Aquarium, Washington, DC

Alligator babies will typically stay close to mom for their first year of life.

Celebrating Ivy’s first Mother’s Day!
This past year, our Linne’s two-toed sloth, Ivy, became a first-time mom to baby, Camden! Making this Mother’s Day a special one for our Aquarium family!

baby sloth

Ivy with her baby Camden!

Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes: Congratulations to Our Second Winner!

amazing rain forest winner

After weeks of excitement and thousands of entries, we’re happy to announce the winners of our Amazing Experiences Sweepstakes!

All week we’ll be announcing the winners for each of our amazing prizes right here on our WATERblog, on our Facebook page and through our email, Aquamail.

Today’s winner is David B. from Baltimore, Maryland! CONGRATULATIONS DAVID! You are the lucky winner of our Rain Forest prize! There is only one rain forest in Maryland, and it is at National Aquarium, Baltimore. As part of your prize, you have the opportunity to help care for this unique habitat side-by-side with our Upland Tropical Rain Forest staff! You will go behind-the-scenes and learn what it takes to care for the diverse and extraordinary ecosystem, prepare food and feed the exhibit’s 15 beautiful species of birds, and tend to a wide range of tropical plants, including a cacao tree  - where chocolate comes from! You will also meet and feed our pair of golden lion tamarin monkeys and help care for our poison dart frogs.

scarlet ibis

Explore the rain forest with our staff and discovery beautiful creatures like the scarlet ibis!

Congratulations again, David. We’re incredibly thankful for your support!

Didn’t win today? No worries! There are still three AMAZING prizes to win…

aquarium sweepstakes

December 19: Name National Aquarium’s Baby Loggerhead Sea Turtle - The baby loggerhead sea turtles that are a part of the National Aquarium, Washington, DC’s loggerhead sea turtle early rehabilitation program are adorable! Through this program, sea turtle hatchlings spend time in aquariums where they can safely grow before being released back to the ocean. The winner of this amazing experience will give the newest turtle, arriving in December 2012, a head start towards success with a name to carry him (or her) into the future! The winner and up to three guests will get to have a private meet and greet with the turtle, and once on display, the turtle tank will feature a sign with the turtle’s name and the winner’s name.

December 20: Go to the Extremes in Australia - On this personal guided tour with the Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes curator, the winner and three guests will get the full behind-the-scenes tour of this incredible exhibit, up close encounters with National Aquarium’s most popular animals, participate in feedings, and see areas of Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes not usually seen by guests.

December 21: Go Behind-the-Scenes with the Dolphins - To get any closer, you would actually have to be an Atlantic bottlenose dolphin! The lucky winner of this amazing experience will go on a private meet and greet with the Aquarium’s dolphins, tour the dolphin area, see how National Aquarium staff prepare their food, check out the dolphin’s extensive toy collection, and learn behind the scenes secrets from the trainers. The winner will get to work with the trainer during a training session, learn how to communicate with the dolphins, and participate in enrichment and play activities!

Still haven’t entered for your chance to win? Well, not to worry. We will still be accepting entries until midnight on December 20th.

ENTER NOW!

How To Enter:
Five Great Ways to be Automatically Entered to Win:

Stay tuned this week to see if YOU are selected as one of our lucky winners!!!

Animal Update – April 20

Between our Baltimore and Washington, DC, venues, more than 17,500 animals representing 900 species call the National Aquarium home. There are constant changes, additions, and more going on behind the scenes that our guests may not notice during their visit. We want to share these fun updates with our community so we’re bringing them to you in our weekly Animal Update posts!

Check our WATERlog blog every Friday to find out what’s going on… here’s what’s new this week!

Poison Dart Froglets
Epipedobates tricolor

The tricolor, or phantasmal, poison dart frog (Epipedobates tricolor) is a small red or brown poison dart frog with blue stripes that is found in the rain forests of the Andean slopes of Ecuador. At the National Aquarium, we have a population of these frogs in the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit, as well as in one of the Hidden Life exhibits at the end of the Rain Forest. These frogs reproduce year-round, but there’s currently a baby boom happening!

There are six froglets in this photo - can you spot them all?

Juveniles can be tiny enough to fit on the fingernail of your pinky!

This young froglet is about the size of a dime!

As they grow, their blue stripes will fade into view, but as froglets they are mostly a solid brown color so they can hide among the leaf litter.

You can tell the two froglets in this picture are older because their stripes are fairly well defined (though not yet completely bright in color).

Stop by to see the young froglets in the Hidden Life exhibit, closest to the rotating door headed toward our Atlantic Coral Reef exhibit!

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

What in the world is a Kokoe-Pa?

Kokoe-Pa female and offspring

The Kokoe-Pa poison dart frog (also called the harlequin poison dart frog) has become a rarity in captive collections. For the past several years, we have maintained one female (wild caught and arriving at the National Aquarium, Baltimore, in 2001 as a USFWS confiscation) and a male that was born here in 2002.

These frogs are particularly difficult to successfully reproduce, as the tadpoles are obligate egg feeders. After a clutch of eggs are laid, the parents move each tadpole to its own small reservoir of water, usually within a bromeliad plant. The female frog will then return every other day or so to lay unfertilized eggs into the water for the tadpole to feed upon.

Research on other obligate egg-feeding dart frogs suggests that mother frogs may recognize their own tadpoles by specific “begging” behaviors during the process.

New Kokoe-Pa offspring

In 2005 and 2009, we had egg-laying episodes that, unfortunately, did not result in thriving viable young. Our herpetologists have paid particular attention to this species, closely monitoring their enclosure temperature, food supply, supplementation, and use of artificial bromeliads (which tend to decompose and fall apart just before the tadpoles have completed their development and metamorphosed into small froglets).

This year we are happy to report that a 2011 egg-laying event has produced at least two offspring that have hit the 3-month-old mark! They look spectacular and appear to be thriving.

The Kokoe-Pa are housed in a special off-exhibit enclosure while we work on all the details of their husbandry.


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