Posts Tagged 'Tasselled wobbegong'

Blacktip Reef Update: Meet the Animals!

We cannot wait for our new exhibit, Blacktip Reef, to open in summer of 2013! This coral-filled exhibit, replicating an Indo-Pacific ocean habitat, will feature 15 exciting species including blacktip reef sharks, reticulated whiptail rays, and ornate wobbegong sharks. It will also be the new home for some of our most beloved animals, including our 400-pound green sea turtle Calypso, and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe. Guests will be able to experience this lively reef from many vantage points, including a new floor-to-ceiling pop-out viewing window that allows you to virtually step inside the exhibit.

It’s a long journey to opening day. Between animal transports, exhibit demolition, new construction, and habitat fabrication, as well as the acquisition of new animals, we’ll have a lot to update you on leading up to next summer. As we continue to build the future home of Blacktip Reef, stay tuned to learn about new changes here on our WATERblog!

Our teams have been busy all over the Aquarium preparing for Blacktip Reef! Animal care is our number one priority, so one of the biggest jobs is caring for the animals that will soon be added to the new exhibit.

Beginning in summer 2013, guests will be able to  see new animals like blacktip reef sharks, reticulated whiptail rays, ornate wobbegong sharks and napoleon wrasse!

Napoleon wrasse

Napoleon wrasse

The namesake animal of the new exhibit, the blacktip reef shark, is a smaller shark species that can grow to about 6 feet in length and bears distinctive black tips on its fins. Blacktip reef sharks are found in the shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific, hanging around reefs to feed. These sharks are sleek, beautiful, fast-moving, and hunt cooperatively in groups.

Blacktip reef shark

Blacktip reef shark

These facinating new species will be joined by some of National Aquarium’s most beloved animals, including Calypso, our 400-pound green sea turtle, and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe!

green sea turtle

Calypso

Watch this video to learn more about the amazing animals that will be living in Blacktip Reef

Below are some of the other amazing species that will be joining our Blacktip Reef family!

  • Blotched fantail ray (Taeniurops)
  • Blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus)
  • Bluefin trevally (Caranx melampygus)
  • Bluestripe seaperch (Lutjanus kasmira)
  • Clown triggerfish (Balistoides conspicillum)
  • Emperor angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator)
  • Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas))
  • Reticulate whipray (Himantura uarnak)
  • Napoleon wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus)
  • Ornate wobbegong (Orectolobus ornatus)
  • Tasselled wobbegong (Eucrossorhinus dasypogon)
  • Potato cod (Epinephelus tukula)
  • Semicircle angelfish (Pomacanthus semicirculatus)
  • Spotted unicornfish (Naso brevirostris)
  • Zebra shark (Stegostoma fasciatum)

Stay tuned for more Blacktip Reef updates! 

Why We’re Thankful for SHARKS!

Our blue planet has been inhabited by sharks for more than 420 million years. We now have close to 500 different species of sharks ranging in size from the dwarf lanternshark (only about 6 inches in length) to the whale shark (the largest fish in the world)!

Although they have become the subject of the international phenomenon otherwise known as Discovery Channel’s Shark Week (which boasted an average of 27 million viewers last year), there is still so much to learn about these amazing creatures.

wobbegong shark

The very interesting tasselled wobbegong shark – coming to our new Blacktip Reef exhibit in summer 2013!

In honor of our mission to inspire conservation of the world’s aquatic treasures, we hope to educate our visitors and community about the misconceptions surrounding these amazing animals.

To get to know more about our sharks, we sat down with one of our shark caretakers, Alan Henningsen:

National Aquarium: How long have you been working with sharks? 

Alan Henningsen: I’ve been working alongside sharks for 32 years.

NA: What is your favorite shark species? 

AH: It’s hard to say! My favorite animal is by far the sawfish, which is actually a species of ray.

A sand tiger shark cruises slowly above sawfish in our Shark Alley exhibit.

I have worked with lemon sharks a lot over the years. Actually, the sand tiger sharks and sandbar sharks are my favorite.

The sand tiger sharks get up close and personal with visitors in our Shark Alley exhibit.

NA: What are your daily duties caring for the National Aquarium sharks? 

AH: My day-to-day duties include observing and recording behavior, maintaining the exhibit (e.g. lighting and cleaning), preparing food and feedings.

NA: How many sharks do you care for? 

AH: In our Shark Alley exhibit, I am currently caring for 10 large sharks (5 sand tiger, 2 sandbar and 3 nurse sharks), and 3 rays (2 freshwater sawfish and 1 roughtail ray).

NA: What’s your favorite fun fact about sharks? 

AH: That’s another tough one! I think the diverse way in which sharks reproduce is fascinating. From internal fertilization to asexual conception, sharks display a diverse array of reproduction cycles.

Want to get up close and personal with our amazing sharks and rays to learn even more about these species? Lucky for you, we are hosting a Shark Sleepover on Friday, November 23. Bring the out-of-town family too (we can almost guarantee it will make you the coolest member of your family).

What species of animal are YOU most thankful for this year? Tell us in the comments section below!

New Exhibit Announcement: Blacktip Reef is coming in 2013!

Beginning in summer 2013, you will be able to enjoy Blacktip Reef, a breathtaking exhibit full of color, light, and movement located in the heart of National Aquarium. This coral-filled exhibit, replicating Indo-Pacific reefs, is active with life that guests can experience from many vantage points of National Aquarium, including a new floor-to-ceiling pop-out viewing window that allows guests to virtually step inside the exhibit and come face-to-face with the animals.

Artist’s rendering of the new Blacktip Reef exhibit.

As National Aquarium guests enjoy the exhibit, they can feel their heart race as a pack of blacktip reef sharks speed toward them. They may take a deep breath as they witness the rise and fall of a 5-foot-wide whipray’s massive fins beneath their feet. Explore deeper and they may spot an ornate wobbegong shark camouflaged against the reef bottom. New species will join some of National Aquarium’s beloved animals including Calypso, the 400-pound green sea turtle, and zebra sharks Zeke and Zoe, in their new home.

Reticulated whiptail ray

The namesake animal of the new exhibit, the blacktip reef shark, is a smaller shark species that can grow to about 6 feet in length and bears distinctive black tips on its fins. Blacktip reef sharks are found in the shallow waters of the Indo-Pacific, hanging around reefs to feed. These sharks are sleek, beautiful, fast-moving, and hunt cooperatively in groups.

Blacktip reef shark

Be sure to check our website for additional information and updates on the exhibit’s progress!


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