Animal Updates - February 15

Published February 15, 2013

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 blog every Friday to find out what's going on... here's what's new this week!

New Finches in our Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes

We have new star and black-crowned finches on exhibit! Both species are native to Australia and prefer to make their homes in the dry grassland and savanna areas of the continent.

star finch

Star finches are easily recognized by their bright red "face masks." Males typically have larger masks than females.

The next time you're walking through our Australia exhibit, be sure to listen closely to the sounds coming from above! Male star finches in particular have a very interesting song (click here to hear an example)!

AnimalUpdated_DC

Brittle Star in our Gulf of Farallones National Marine Sanctuary gallery! 

We have a new brittle star on exhibit!

brittle star

Brittle stars are also known as serpent stars!

There are more than 1,500 species of brittle stars. They can be found in most parts of the world, from the Arctic waters to the tropics. Instead of crawling on hundreds of tube feet like starfish, brittle stars move by wriggling their long, serpent-like limbs!

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

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Jellies in petri dish Welcome to the Jelly Jungle

Deep inside the Institute of Marine and Environmental Technology (IMET) building, the National Aquarium runs a little-known lab. Here we carry out the propagation of jellies, many of which later end up on exhibit in Jellies Invasion. Read on for a peek into the process!

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Cold stunned turtle Cold Stunning: Where, How and Why?

Picture this: You’ve just spent a wonderful, late summer week on Cape Cod, swimming in the ocean and enjoying the sunshine with friends and family. As fall sets in, you know it’s time to head home. You get on the highway, but something strange happens … despite driving for hours, you end up back where you started. You feel sluggish, confused and exhausted. If you were a turtle, you just might be cold-stunned.

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