Animal/Plant Updates - May 3

Published May 03, 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!

Meet our new orbicular burrfish!

We have a new orbicular burrfish on exhibit in our Hiding gallery!

Orbicular burrfish

Native to Indo-Pacific reefs, the orbicular burrfish hides in large sponges during the day and comes out at night to feed. While they may look sweet, these fish have a mean bite! They're mouth structures are built for crushing hard-shelled invertebrates.

Did you know? Orbicular burrfish, like all burrfish and pufferfish species, can take in water to inflate their bodies when threatened.

PlantUpdate_baltimore

Cacao tree has new pods!

The cacao tree in our Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit has two new pods!

cacao tree

Seeds found in the pods of this South American tree are used to make chocolate! Cacao pods can range in color (from green to a deep maroon) depending on genetics and ripeness.

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

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Featured Stories

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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