Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Feast fit for the Beasts at the Tennessee Aquarium

Thanksgiving isn’t the only day for our animals to enjoy haute cuisine. Volunteer chefs help serve up a daily feast fit for a king snake, queen angelfish, octopus, shark, and alligator - in fact, all of the animals that call the Tennessee Aquarium home.

Superior animal husbandry calls for daily monitoring and careful menu planning to achieve the most nutritious and enriching diet for every creature. The husbandry department and volunteer chefs spend long hours preparing diets for the animals in each exhibit.

Over 22 tons of restaurant quality seafood is consumed at our facility each year, not to mention the substantial poundage of fruits, vegetables, mice, worms and other food supplements.

Think you’ve had quite a chore shopping for your Thanksgiving feast? Here’s a partial look at the Aquarium’s annual grocery list:

832,000 meal worms for birds
5,616 heads of romaine lettuce for turtles and fish
5,184 pounds of squid for sharks, green moray eels and other fish
40,000 crickets for frogs, salamanders and newts
10,800 pounds of capelin fish for penguins
3,000 night crawlers for turtles and amphibians
2,000 pounds of shrimp for cuttlefish
681 pounds of grapes for macaws
1,056 oranges for butterflies
4,697 mice and rats for reptiles
200 pounds of macadamia nuts for macaws

We’re thankful for all of our volunteers who help prepare food and feed our animals throughout the year.

Want to learn more about animal care and help feed some of the Aquarium’s animals? Add a Backstage Pass to your next visit and go behind-the-scenes:

Happy Thanksgiving!

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