Animal Updates - June 22

Published June 22, 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 blog every Friday to find out what's going on... here's what's new this week!

New BLUE Lobster

As of earlier this week, National Aquarium, Washington, DC became the new home for Toby, a rare blue lobster found off the coast of Maryland. Toby’s particular blue hue is said to be a 1-in-2-million exception to the reddish-brown shade of most lobsters!

Toby, our new rare blue lobster

The lobster was caught last week by John Gourley on his fishing boat, the Pot Luck, near Ocean City, MD. Gourley decided to donate the lobster to National Aquarium, Washington, DC.

Although Toby is already at the Aquarium, he will not immediately be placed on exhibit due to standard precautionary measures regarding the safety of a new species. He will eventually be placed in our Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuaries exhibit, which currently houses three black sea bass and one tautog. We hope to have Toby on display by July 4.

According to the University of Maine Lobster Institute, Toby is blue due to a genetic variation that causes the lobster to produce an excessive amount of a particular protein. This characteristic is estimated to be present in every 1-in-2-million lobsters born.

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

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