Animal Update - April 27

Published April 27, 2012

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

Diamondback Terrapin

We've added a young Diamondback Terrapin to our Tidal Marsh exhibit in the Maryland: Mountains to the Sea gallery!

These turtles are distinguished by their unique diamond-shaped rings on the scutes of their upper shell. Their skin is speckled with dark dots and markings unique to each animal. No two animals' markings are identical.

They are excellent swimmers, with strong webbed feet that allow them to not only glide through the water, but also to forage and dig in the sand and sediment on the bottom. These strong swimmers are not sea turtles, however, which have flippers, not feet.

Aside from being the official Maryland State Reptile, they are the University of Maryland's mascot — go Terps!

Leopard Shark

A new leopard shark has joined our Kelp Forest exhibit!

These sharks are typically gray or brown, with black saddles across the back and black blotches along the length of the body.

If you're looking for it, check out the exhibit floor — leopard sharks spend much of their time near the sea floor. Because of this, their food animals are typically bottom dwellers as well, such as crabs, shrimp, clams, marine worms, and small fish.

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

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