Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Need A Reason To Smile? Visit the Butterfly Garden.

Not much needs to be said here. Just some fun pictures taken inside the Tennessee Aquarium's Butterfly Garden and shared by Charles Gazlay. They are real smile makers. Thanks Charles for sending them to us. You really made our day!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Penguin Babies Grow Quickly

Boy oh Boy! Penguin babies sure grow quickly. The picture above is of the tiny, gentoo chick under its mother, Biscuit. That was on July 1st.

Here is the baby penguin today! It can't exactly fit under momma anymore. Although with its head tucked underneath Biscuit, the baby probably feels invisible to the rest of the world. Tennessee Aquarium visitors obviously have better viewing of this youngster now. Throughout the day you can observe the chick begging and being fed by the parents. He or she is also very vocal now and the tiny call is quite cute. When keepers take the chick behind the scenes for weigh-ins, the adorable little bird nuzzles up against the keepers. Take a look:

There are still two more gentoo eggs in the exhibit. If fertile, they are due to hatch the first week of August.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Weird Creatures at the Tennessee Aquarium Part Two

A third litter of aquatic caecilians was born at the Tennessee Aquarium over the weekend. This time senior herpetologist Bill Hughes got great shots of their gills. These organs detach from the caecilians shortly after the animals reach the surface for their first breath of air. Hughes says this exhibit is really fun to watch right now. "It's constantly in motion," Hughes said. "The baby caecilians, adults and Surinam toads are swimming around non-stop. I could watch this one tank all day long."
Check out the detail in this close-up. Nice photos Bill!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Weird Creatures Born At The Tennessee Aquarium

They're squiggly, wiggly and pretty weird-looking animals. Some visitors mistake them for eels or water snakes, but actually aquatic caecilians are amphibians.
Three new baby aquatic caecilians were born in the Rainforest Pond tank in Rivers of the World Gallery at the Tennessee Aquarium, and there is at least one more baby on the way. According to senior herpetologist Bill Hughes, the babies are born with large gills that are shed almost immediately. Hughes says the young still bear indications of these frilly gills, "In the picture of the newborn, things to notice are the sensory tentacle (white object next to the nare) and the area on the neck where the gill was attached."
The babies will be left on exhibit for a few weeks.

The second picture is the underside of one of the babies heads, with the mother visible in the background.

Hughes adds, "Taking pictures of squirmy things underwater is not easy so I apologize for the picture quality."
The pictures look fine Bill! Anyone who'd like to see a caecilian being born might want to check out this video.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Are You An Artist? You Could Win $50!

If you know any "starving" artists, or anyone who is hungry to have fun while helping a great cause, let them know that Tennessee River Rescue needs a little help. Organizers are looking for someone to design the T-shirt for the 2010 Tennessee River Rescue.
As you can see above, different artists have designed some pretty awesome t-shirts in the past. The artist who designs this year's shirt will win $50!!
See more designs at:

The 22nd annual Tennessee River Rescue takes place Saturday, October 2nd. The first 700 participants receive free shirts for helping to clean the shores from Bradley County near Cleveland, TN through Chattanooga in Hamilton County, all the way to near Jasper in Marion County. Volunteers will clean 18 zones in the three counties.
To register for this year's clean-up, go to:
The design should appeal to all ages. Here’s the info:

· The Tennessee River Rescue is a community wide river clean-up that hundreds of people help with every year.
· You can use three colors and black or dark blue for the lettering.
· Usually a scene of the river or an aquatic animal has been used. Some examples could be: turtle, heron, kingfisher, frog, etc.
· Include "22nd Annual Tennessee River Rescue" on the front of the shirt.
· On the back of the shirt, we list our sponsors under the phrase” We’re involved!”

E-mail designs to cjb AT tnaqua DOT org. DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES AUG 10TH.
Questions can be directed to Nancy Brice 413-0700 or emailed to:
cjb AT tnaqua DOT org. Make sure to send your contact information. Good Luck!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Sunset Cruises Aboard the River Gorge Explorer

Summer skies above the Tennessee River Gorge can be quite picturesque. Add the warm glow of twilight and you can capture postcard quality images like these.
River Gorge Explorer crew members are fortunate enough to be out on the river in the evening hours every day. Deckhand Carrie Magnussen snapped these pictures to share with everyone. Above is the port view of a recent sunset.....below is the starboard view.

Passengers get to enjoy three hours of cruising in the Gorge for the price of a two-hour excursion when they book the "Sunset Special." Naturalist John Dever jokes about multiple sunsets on each cruise due to the winding nature of the Tennessee River and the surrounding mountains.

Book your "Sunset Special" cruise online today: http://www.tnaqua.org/RiverGorgeExplorer/RiverGorgeExplorer.aspx