Thursday, October 18, 2012

YOGA Underwater

Shot of this morning's YOGA under water at the Tennessee Aquarium. In this case, one of our SCUBA divers dropped in. Looks like the diver is the instructor. One more shot to try this for yourself next Thursday, October 25th:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Keeled box turtle hatches at the Tennessee Aquarium

The Tennessee Aquarium has one of the largest turtle collections on display with more than 500 individuals representing 75 species. 

Aquarium herpetologists are proud to announce the arrival of a tiny, new face with the Aquarium’s first successful hatching of a keeled box turtle, Cuora mouhotii—a species classified as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Natureand Natural Resources (IUCN). 

 The keeled box turtle is found in mountainous terrain and evergreen forests of India, Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, and China. Armed with a golden shell with a ridge down the center for protection, these turtles feed on fallen fruit and vegetation.
Their population is low and declining due to the major threat of poaching for Chinese traditional medicine, food, and international pet trade. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Things That Go Bump in the Night

October means it’s time for the Tennessee Aquarium’s annual Thrills, Gills, & Chills extravaganza. All throughout this spooktacular month, visitors will have a chance to meet those creatures that only come out at night in Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari.

 Spike, an African Pygmy Hedgehog, and Stan, an EurasianEagle Owl, are just two of many nocturnal animals that have an interesting predator-prey relationship. Both have an assortment of heightened senses and shortcomings to overcome, but how do they manage to stay alive in the dead of night? Aquarium experts divulge the secrets of animals such as these during daily Keeper Talks. Join them - if you’re brave enough to face your fear of the things that go bump in the night.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Monarchs on the Move

Have you seen any monarch butterflies recently? 
These brightly-colored insects are winging their way south through the Chattanooga area right now.
 These images were taken in the Butterfly Garden that's located between the Tennessee Aquarium's two buildings and in the IMAX Theater garden.
Butterflies are rather fragile creatures that weigh less than a penny, yet are rugged enough to fly some 2,000 miles from Canada to Mexico. This incredible journey is part of the story in the new film Flight of the Butterflies in 3D now showing at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater.
This spectacular film is wowing audiences with the use of 3D photography used to draw viewers into the miraculous transformation from caterpillar to butterfly. Dr. Fred Urquhart's story of scientific discovery is compelling - the 40-year quest to locate the final destination of millions of migrating monarchs.
While driving along Highway 72 to Huntsville, AL recently I counted more than two dozen southbound monarchs on this mainly east-west road. But you might encounter more on your travels this time of year.
NewsChannel 9's Marcia Kling shared a story with us about how she was once surprised by these beautiful travelers. "Years ago, as I was driving home on Hwy.27 from our old location on 6th St., a huge swarm of Monarchs, one of the most beautiful sights I've ever seen, came toward my car," wrote Kling.  "I couldn't stop, but I slowed down because I didn't want to kill one of those beautiful creatures. It was about this time of year, and the butterflies were obviously in migration, literally headed from north to south.  It was an amazing experience, and I was so pleased to witness it. I've never had another experience like it, but maybe I can again at the IMAX!"

We hope everyone makes time to see this wonderful film to experience one of nature's wonders - The Flight of the Butterflies.