Thursday, April 30, 2009
(Pictured above from right to left: Eric Majors, Angel and Jeff Throop, and Michelle Bowman.)
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Friday, May 8, 6:00 p.m. - Saturday, May 9, 8:30 a.m.
Celebrate Mothers Day this year with your family by sleeping under the sea at the Tennessee Aquairum in Chattanooga, Tenn. Discover some darling, newly born baby animals and celebrate their mothers too! You will enjoy critter encounters, explore behind the scenes, see Under the Sea 3D at the IMAX and watch the courtship antics of our penguins. Sleep in the Undersea Cavern of Ocean Journey, while sharks and thousands of colorful fish swim over and around you. Includes overnight, IMAX movie, guided tours, special activities, pizza and continental breakfast.
Families with children ages 6 and older accompanied by an adult
$60 per person (Members: $50 per person)
Register now at: http://tinyurl.com/cqxn8m
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
Face painting was popular under the arch in front of the Aquarium. This cutie chose a pink striped heart. A couple of kids chose to have renderings of our planet for Earth Day.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Don't miss our "Party for the Planet" Earth Day celebration Saturday, April 25th from 1:00 pm to 6:00 pm.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
A spy has been captured inside Jellies: Living Art at the Tennessee Aquarium. A video camera was discovered on the individual after they were apprehended. Fortunately, the memory card was confiscated before the spy could post it on the Internet for everyone to see before the Grand Opening.
Here's a portion of the bootleg video we uncovered. Perhaps the swarm of moon jellies distracted the person orchestrating this clandestine operation just long enough for security to swoop into action and foil this caper.
Jellies: Living Art opens at the Tennessee Aquarium and Hunter Museum of American Art on May 15Th.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
We want to thank Jennifer from Chattanooga for sharing her story about doing a little "myth-busting."
"I thought you might find it amusing that a co-worker of mine just came in and told me his wife called him on his lunch break today with an amazing story. She is a hairdresser and one of her clients told her that a friend of hers had a son go missing at the aquarium for over an hour while on a school field trip. They looked high and low and couldn't find him anywhere, but then he just came walking into the main lobby giggling. He told everyone he was hiding. On the way home the boy opened up his backpack in the car and to his poor mother's horror, there was a baby penguin inside that he had stolen right from the aquarium. This client claims to have seen it with her own eyes when her friend called her in hysterics. My coworker's eyes were huge as he was telling me this story and he was just in awe that something like this could happen. I told him it was a hoax and he said it totally wasn't because this lady knew all about it first hand."
"I pulled up the youtube penguin napping video and showed it to him. He felt pretty silly for falling for it. Hahaha, it amazes me what people will believe as fact from a 4th hand account."
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters collected from the coin drop in the Aquarium’s River Journey building have now added up to $250,000 since the coin drop was installed on Earth Day in 1996. As the Normal Park Elementary students learned, this money helps support the Tennessee River Gorge Trust’s efforts to preserve Tennessee’s Grand Canyon. “This milestone is symbolic of how small, individual conservation efforts can produce huge, collective results,” said Charlie Arant, Tennessee Aquarium President and CEO. “We are pleased to help the Tennessee River Gorge Trust protect vital habitat in Chattanooga’s backyard.”
TRGT’s Executive Director, Jim Brown, agrees. “The Tennessee Aquarium's "coin drop" concept to fund local habitat conservation within the Gorge has reaped dividends beyond our wildest dreams.” “With each roll of the coin, visitors to the Aquarium have converted their spare change into forests, flowers, and abundant wildlife.”
Miss McCoy’s and Miss McTier’s students were at the Aquarium to study the Rivers of the World and Ocean Journey exhibits as part of their nine-week unit on rainforests. These students were surprised to learn that the Tennessee River Gorge could be considered a temperate rainforest because of the vast array of plants and animals found just downstream from Chattanooga.
Friday, April 17, 2009
The Gentoo Penguins are a little older and therefore appear to have their act together in terms of couples. Peep and Poncho are a very cute pair and are often seen sitting together on their nest. Peep is one of the few penguins experienced in raising a chick (although not with Poncho) so we are hopeful this new couple will have a successful nesting season. Blue and Biscuit, another Gentoo couple who have raised chicks in the past, are often see bowing their heads together and then stretching their necks in a very sweet and common courtship behavior.
Then there is Nipper. Nipper is young and obviously inexperienced. He appears to be curious as to why everybody is sitting on a pile of rocks. So when they leave to go get a bite of food or take a swim, he tests out their nest by sitting on it. It is only a matter of time before the nest owner shows up and chases him off. Flower, a female gentoo, seems to be a little sweet on Nipper, but so far he is clueless (face it ladies – we’ve all met this guy, haven’t we?)
The other Gentoo couple is Big T and Bug. This is the obviously young and carefree couple that obviously knows the logistics of how to make an egg, but have failed to build a nest to put the egg in when it arrives – so they will be very entertaining to watch in the coming weeks.
Check the penguin cam often, not only can you watch them eat lunch or take a swim, you might just catch a disagreement over nest placement and or available mates! And if you can solve the mystery of who’s been putting nesting rocks in the food pan – please let us know.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Here is a picture of Shamrock selecting the perfect rock for her nest.
Spring makes for very interesting observations at Penguins’ Rock. Don’t get me wrong – it’s always entertaining, but with the addition of nesting materials (rocks) on April 1, the exhibit has become much more amusing than normal. In fact, some might jokingly refer to it like an animal soap opera. And keep checking back, since we are still early in the season, all pairs listed below are subject to change in coming weeks.
So here is today’s installation of what we’ll call…"The Young and the Rockless"
Most of the Macaroni’s are young and inexperienced in the ways of love (ie. nest building and mating). So, this makes for some interesting interactions to say the least. Hercules is really the one to watch and trust me, he is very busy these days. Over the last 2 weeks he has been courting three macaroni females; Little Debbie, Shamrock and Sweet Pea. He is currently only sitting on a nest with Shamrock but don’t be fooled, he has been caught preening Sweet Pea from time to time when Sharmock is taking a dip in the pool.
Other Macaroni couples from last spring are Pauley and Noodle as well as Chaos and Iggie. We’re not sure how the initial break-ups occurred but as it stands today, Pauley and Chaos appear to be a couple as do Noodle and Iggie. Apparently, since all these birds are still fairly young, it is not uncommon for them to switch mates from season to season. As they become older and more experienced, they will tend to stick with one mate (sound familiar?). The humorous part here is that Iggie, evidently still has a thing for Chaos as he is preening her when Pauley’s not looking and today, she was preening Iggie while Pauley had his back turned. Hmmm… obviously these pairs are yet to be determined.
And, if you’re wondering we do still have some singles out there including Merlin the Macaroni who was with Little Debbie last year but is still stacking rocks and ‘working the room’ at this point.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Momma Duck "aka Baroness" returned! Or, so we believe it is the same momma duck. After some quick Googling, we understand females return to the same nesting spot year after year! You can only imagine what this means for us every spring during her life expectancy (ranging 8 to 10 years)!
She was spotted about a week ago hunkered down in the general vicinity as last year. She was VERY well hidden. No one knew for sure how long she had been here until last weekend. We missed the incubation by about three weeks. Sandy Hughes, one of our nurses in the Emergency Department who was watching over Baroness since she was found, announced that seven of the nine eggs hatched on Good Friday. By Saturday evening, Baroness and her seven ducklings “checked out” on their own for a new home near the water.
The notification of her visit, eggs hatching, and “patient discharge” happened so quickly, we were unable to get a good picture of her…and the babies.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
There's just a little time remaining to snatch a great deal: From now until April 19th, The River Gorge Explorer Early Bird Special – is just $20 per person when you book the 10:00 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. cruise in advance. Call 1-800-262-0695 for your reservation and mention the "Early Bird Special".
Monday, April 13, 2009
The female Mallard (I use the term “Mallard” loosely because this bird was of domesticated origin, its plumage was not that of a wild Mallard.) built her nest in a planter containing monkey grass (ornamental) next to the Erlanger Emergency room entrance. The nest was very well hidden, lined with down, and when she was done laying contained 14 eggs (most mallards usually lay 8 – 12 eggs). The eggs started to hatch approximately 30 days after she began incubating which is after the last egg is laid. The staff looked after the nest feeding the hen bread and observing her daily. I instructed them to me know when the first duckling began to hatch so they family could be moved to a safe location near water. Mallards take their young to the water soon after they are all hatched. I placed the whole family in a cardboard box (luckily we caught all fourteen ducklings which are very quick!) and transported them to Amnicola Lake at the greenway off of Amnicola Highway where I released them in the weeds next to the water. She immediately led her young to the waters edge and they disappeared. Mallards do tend to go back to the same areas to nest year after year, but I expected this hen to stay at Amnicloa Lake which is 2-3 miles from Erlanger to nest this year because it is a much safer and more suitable area BUT I WAS WRONG!!!!
Friday, April 10, 2009
Thursday, April 9, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Register for tonight's event at: http://www.tnaqua.org/events.aspx
Dr. Eugenie Clark's official website: http://www.sharklady.com/
Here's what senior aviculturist Amy Graves had to say about the Tennessee Aquarium's gentoo penguins and their reactions to the "magic rocks."
"In the gentoo world, all of the same pairs from last year seem to be holding strong. There were four individuals that were just too young last year and never paired up. They really didn’t know what was going on. But this year, I think they’re starting to feel the 'tingle in their toes' and getting a little bit of excitement from the rocks. They might pair up this year or just play around in the rocks."
"Of the four youngest gentoos, Big T has been courting Bug and that leaves Flower with Nipper, which I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not because Nipper is just Nipper. He’s always underfoot and he’s always into something. Nipper was the first gentoo to pick up a rock this morning and he plunked it down right in the middle of the food pan. Last year, he dropped a rock right into the pool. If Flower and Nipper choose to get together that will be great, but I haven’t seen any courtship behavior between them. So it may just be Big T and Bug this year out of those four and Nipper and Flower may wait until next year. They are just getting started, so they don’t really know what to do just yet. They are watching the other penguins busy selecting rocks and they think they need to be doing something but they are not quite sure what that is yet."