National Aquarium Baltimore

National Aquarium’s Turtle Hatchlings are the First Ever Born in Any Zoo

1596714_10151934440186174_1920856150_oEight Northern Australian Snapping Turtles hatched at the National Aquarium this winter are the first of this species ever hatched in captivity.

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Photo Credit:  National Aquarium

The excitement began in September, when the aquarium’s female turtle laid her eggs.  The staff immediately gathered the eggs and placed them in an incubator, where they were closely monitored.  On the morning of February 14, the first hatchling emerged from its egg!  Since then, seven other little turtles have hatched.

Aquarium staff have observed healthy behaviors in all the hatchlings, including swimming and basking in open areas.  The hatchlings will remain behind the scenes until they are large enough to move into exhibits.  At hatching, the turtles weighed less than one ounce (24 g).  As adults, they will weigh more than 11 pounds (5 kg).  

The National Aquarium is the only aquarium in the United States to exhibit this species.


Two-Toed Sloth Joins the Family at the National Aquarium

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The National Aquarium welcomed a new addition to their Upland Tropical Rainforest—a baby sloth! The baby, named Scout, was born on November 17 to mother Ivy. In order to give Ivy and her baby time to bond, the staff has been observing the pair from a distance. Because of this, the newborn’s weight, height, and gender have yet to be determined. The baby joins an ever growing family of five with Syd, Howie, Xeno, Camden and Ivy. Scout is the fourth sloth born at the aquarium and the second born to Ivy. In celebration of Scout’s arrival, the National Aquarium has set up a baby registry. Fans can make donations to help purchase essential supplies to help care for Scout.

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“Our team is thrilled to welcome another baby sloth to our Rain Forest habitat,” said Ken Howell, Curator of the Upland Tropical Rain Forest. “It is an honor to work with these incredible animals and inspire our guests to learn more about the ways they can protect them.”

Sloths have had a home at the aquarium since 2007. Linne’s Two-Toes Sloths can be found in the aquarium’s Upland Tropical Rainforest, an exhibit modeled after the species' native habitat—South American rain forests. These slow moving mammals spend almost their entire lives in the trees, sleeping up to 20 hours a day.


A Perfect Little Puffin Chick

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Victor and Vixen, a pair of Atlantic Puffins that hatched the National Aquarium’s first Puffin chick in 2006, have done it again: They hatched their fourth chick on July 4.

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Photo Credit:  National Aquarium

Puffins co-parent their young and take turns incubating the egg, protecting their nest, and carrying back small fish to keep their chick happily fed.

The Aquarium’s Puffins nest in special enclosures created to mimic the deep burrows typically used by their species on the coastlines of western Europe, Greenland, Iceland, and the northeastern coast of North America. In the wild, Puffin couples have been observed reuniting at the same burrow site year after year.

Since hatching, the chick has been closely watched by staff aviculturists. Keepers report that the baby is steadily gaining weight and appears to be quite healthy.

The baby Puffin will remain in its burrow several weeks before it begins making short exploratory trips into the exhibit.

Puffins are estimated to number in the millions, although hunting and egg harvesting have reduced populations in some parts of their range.  Puffins are a national delicacy in Iceland.


Help Name This Baby Sloth!

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The National Aquarium in Baltimore's baby Sloth is ready for a name! Following two weeks of accepting name suggestions from the public as part of a baby sloth naming contest, the aquarium is excited to announce the following four names for final consideration:

  • Iris – In honor of the beautiful flower
  • Camden – In honor of the city it was born in, Baltimore, and the winning baseball season
  • Waylay – Meaning surprise, like the baby was for Ivy
  • Izzy – Submitted by a teacher on behalf of a Frederick County Public Schools class that selected the name
  • Luna – Meaning moon in Spanish

Please take this opportunity to vote here http://aqua.org/explore/sloth-naming-contest for your favorite name of the five listed above. Voting will run through November 15 and the final name will be announced on Friday, November 16th.

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Photo credit: Jessica Nelson, National Aquarium

The baby, and mother Ivy, have been doing well since keepers first discovered the young Sloth in late August. Here are some details about baby and Ivy to inspire your votes:

  • Linne's Two-toed Sloths are native to South America and can be found in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Brazil (north of the Amazon River)
  • Sloths spend their entire lives in the trees and are nocturnal by nature
  • This baby is Ivy's first and the third born at the National Aquarium

Meet the Little Linne's Two-toed Baby Sloth Born at National Aquarium

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The National Aquarium in Baltimore welcomed a new addition to the Upland Tropical Rain Forest exhibit – a Linne’s Two-toed Sloth was born in late August! Their baby is the first born to Ivy, one of the four Sloths in the exhibit, and is the third Sloth born at National Aquarium. It was born fully haired and already has its trademark claws! 

Linne’s Two-toed Sloths are commonly found in South America’s rain forests, where they spend their entire lives in the trees. They are nocturnal by nature, fairly active at night while spending most of the day sleeping. Adult sloths are typically the size of a small dog, approximately 24–30 inches in length and about 12–20 pounds in weight.

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Photo Credits: National Aquarium

Read more about Sloths below the fold:

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They Don't Call 'em Puffins for Nuthin'

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Back in 2006, The National Aquarium was happy to report the first successful hatching of its first puffin chick. The parents, Victor and Vixen, presented it with another healthy chick in 2010, later named Vinny.  On June 28, 2011, they hatched their third little puffin! The chick weighed 40 grams at the time of the hatch, and weighed 90 grams at 8 days old. This follows the weight pattern of his older brother.

Just a little over a week later, on July 6, first-time puffin parents Tex and Kingster hatched their own chick, making this the Aquarium’s first year for multiple puffin hatchings. This chick weighed 39.4 grams at the time of the hatch and 168 grams at 12 days old.

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Photo credits: The National Aquarium

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National Aquarium Welcomes a Baby Dolphin!

The National Aquarium in Baltimore has just released pictures and video of their two day old dolphin calf. The calf appears to be healthy, swimming alongside mother Jade and 31 year old Shiloh who is an experienced dolphin mom. Watch video of the birth below and follow all the progress on this bright-eyed and slippery-tailed calf on the National Aquariums blog in the days to come. 

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The National Aquarium Welcomes a New Baby Sloth

Keepers at the National Aquarium were proud to to welcome their first baby sloth in early September. The world’s slowest mammal, sloths spend their entire lives living in trees.

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Did you know: Baby sloths are referred to by scientists as "baby sloths!"

Little known fact: in their native habitat, two-toed sloths listen exclusively to smooth jazz with world music influences.

Continue reading "The National Aquarium Welcomes a New Baby Sloth" »