Learning at the Newport Aquarium.   Leave a comment

My daughter has been talking about going to the Newport Aquarium for several weeks now. As she pointed out, we haven’t been there in a while. My mom was in town, so we thought it would be a good excuse to go.
Oh the Jellyfish!

One of the first things we saw was a stinkpot turtle, which was cute, though unfortunately named. There were two things I learned about turtles. First, they have a three-chamber heart (which I can’t figure out how that works).
Stinkpot Turtle
They also can’t stick out their tongue. Don’t blow a raspberry at them–it’s just mean so many ways.

There was also an albino, crawfish-like thing.
Albino Crawfish

Generally, baby animals are cute, including these Port Jackson shark pups.
Port Jackson Shark Pups

I lost a staring contest to a largescale foureyes. These fish have a pair of eyes above the water, and a pair below the water.
Staring Contest

While I was standing there, something got the attention of all of them. I don’t know what it was, but they all swam to the same corner of the exhibit to look at it.
What are Looking At?

In the same tank were Endler’s Livebearer. Though I can’t get a clear answer through Google, the card said this animal was extinct in the wild, due to habitat loss.
Endler's Livebearer

Though there are clearly more than eight individuals, I always get sad when I see that phrase.
Endler's Livebearer 2

Nope: I didn’t forget to rotate this picture.
Asian Upside-Down Catfish

This is the Asian Upside-Down catfish, which travels in just such a fashion. There are right-side up Archerfish swimming with them. Archerfish can squirt a stream of water six inches, to knock an insect into their grasp.
Archerfish and Asian Upside-Down Catfish

I always like lionfish, even if they are an invasive species in North American waters. During Hurricane Andrew, some of these venomous fish escaped an aquarium. There is now a bounty on their heads.

Regardless, they just look cool.
Lionfish 2

On the other hand, the mbu pufferfish just looks pretty goofy…
Mbu Pufferfish

…as does the spot-fin pufferfish. However, I think the such strange adaptations are one of the things that make animals so neat.
Spot-Fin Pufferfish

One of the centerpieces of the aquarium is Mighty Mike, an alligator. He is quite big–for a captive alligator.
Mighty Mike

The main claim of the Newport Aquarium, in my view, is the shark rays. They now have four.
Shark Ray and Shark

They are somewhat of a combination of a shark and a ray, and are fascinating to watch swim around.
Shark Ray 2

They share their exhibit with several species of sharks.
Shark Ray and Shark

These ancient fish, such as this blacktip reef shark, are also amazing creatures. They are misunderstood creatures–there are typically one hundred shark attacks in a year (with only fifteen fatalities). Humans are responsible for one hundred million shark deaths.
Blacktip Reef Shark

Sand Tiger Shark
Sand Tiger Shark

It was a great day at the aquarium, and we learned a lot–about turtle anatomy, upside-down fish, and an endangered species.


Posted 2013-11-12 by Mr. Guilt in animals, Cincinnati, Zoos & Aquariums

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