Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day - Findin' O the Green

Happy St. Patty’s Day! - Here is a tribute to a few of the Aquarium’s animals that won’t get pinched today.
Perhaps the first animal we think of is the green treefrog. These gorgeous amphibians can be found in the River Journey building. You'll spot them quite easily in Discovery Hall. And this time of year you might even hear them near your home. In the natural world they may be a lot more difficult to see. So listening for the male's mating call may be your only clue that one or more are nearby.

- Green Sea Turtles get their name from the green color of their flesh and fat (due to a mostly vegetarian diet)
- One of the Aquarium’s encounter animals is a Green Aracari, though his feathers are so dark they sometimes appear black
- In the Aquarium’s living coral exhibit, you will find a giant green anemone, which gets is coloration from symbiotic algae that live in the lining of its gut. When exposed to sunlight this anemone “farms” some of its nutrition from the material created by this algae.
Coral reefs may be the least appreciated, yet most valuable ecosystems in the world. We're pretty lucky to have these amazing creatures. Learn about NOAA's Coral Reef Conservation Program.
- Also in this exhibit lives some green leaf coral, which is a type of montipora or small polyp stony coral. The polyps are so small that they appear fuzzy, which is why it is sometimes referred to as velvet coral.
- The queen triggerfish can be a range of colors from a bright green to a deep blue or almost purple shade. Queen triggerfish often snack on sea urchins, carefully flipping them to reach the most vulnerable part of the urchin, the mouth which has no spines.
- The Leafy seadragon is of course a shade of green… its leaf-life appendages help it to blend in well within a kelp bed. Although its color looks bright on the Aquarium exhibit, its greenish coloration appears dull in its natural habitat though.

Want to learn more about these or other Aquarium animals? Many more critter facts can be found on our Animal Pages:

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