North American River Otter

Exhibit Updates

December 2012 – New Additions

Reef Fish at The Living Planet Aquarium

If you visit the Aquarium on a regular basis you may notice some new residents in some of the exhibits. Sometimes it’s difficult to notice them when you don’t know to look for them. Here are some helpful hints about who to look for and where to look!

Shark Exhibit

  • White-spotted Bambooshark
  • Brown Banded Bambooshark
  • Brown Marbled Grouper
  • Atlantic Spadefish

Coral Reef Tank

  • Whitemargin Unicornfish
  • Elegant Unicornfish
  • Orangespine Unicornfish (yellow-orange dorsal fin) (sometimes called the blonde naso tang)
  • Pastel-green Wrasse (lime green color)
  • Yellow Tang

Pipefish Tank

  • Threadfin Butterflyfish (thin stripes)
  • Atoll Butterflyfish (thicker stripes)

Coral Community

  • Pastel-green Wrasse

Animal Superheroes - frog exhibit

  • Fire Belly Toads have replaced the Bird Poop and Mossy Frogs

September 2012 – Touch Pool Exhibit

Megalodon Jaws at The Living Planet Aquarium

If you are a frequent visitor, you may have seen some recent changes to our touch pool in the Ocean Explorer Gallery. We have moved the Southern Stingray to the shark tank where they will have more room to swim and more tank mates to keep them company. Some of the amazing new species that have been added to the touch pool include a Leopard Shark, Horn Sharks, Round Stingrays, Bat Rays, Tidepool Sculpin and several species of Perch. You will also find some beautiful new invertebrates including Giant Spined Sea Stars, Bat Stars, Urchins, several kinds of Anemones, and other invertebrates. All of these new animals are touchable – but don’t forget to be gentle and only use two fingers!


August 2012 – Megalodon Shark Jaw Exhibit

Megalodon Jaws at The Living Planet Aquarium

Megalodon lived from about 20 to 2 million years ago. It measured over 50 feet and weighed over 100,000 pounds. Some scientists estimate that Megalodon ate about 2,500 pounds of food every day, including whales and other large fish. Paleontologists have found whale bones with large bite marks that may match the teeth of Megalodon.

Megalodon teeth have been found in North and South America, Europe, Australia, India, Japan and Africa. Scientists believe Megalodon thrived in warm waters throughout the world.

Megalodon became extinct 2 million years ago. It is believed that during the rapid climate change of the Ice Age, its favored prey species, Baleen Whales, had begun to migrate to colder waters where Megalodon could not thrive.

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July 2012 - Baby Sharks

Penguins at The Living Planet Aquarium

Look what the stork dropped off at The Living Planet Aquarium! In this case the stork is actually an Australian cargo plane and the babies are 5 shark pups that arrived today from northeast Australia. The pups were flown to Los Angeles in self-contained, water-tight tanks complete with battery-powered aerators. After water tests, health inspections, and water changes the new arrivals were loaded into a truck for the trip to their new home in Utah. A temperature-controlled truck drove through the night to avoid the daytime desert heat.

Three young Gray Reef Sharks and two Blacktip Reef Sharks are on display in the shark tank located in the Ocean Explorer gallery. They each measure approximately 3 feet long with the potential to reach up to 8 feet in length.

The grey reef shark (Carcharhinus amblyrhynchos) is one of the most common species of shark found in the warm waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Grey reef sharks are generally found in the coastal regions and along continental shelves from the Middle East to the islands in the deep Pacific. They feed on reef fish, squid and shrimp. The grey reef shark is not thought to pose a great threat to humans and the grey reef shark has been noted to be inquisitive towards divers.

The blacktip reef shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) inhabits the tropical and warm temperate seas of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. They are pelagic sharks meaning that they spend their entire lives swimming in the water column as opposed to resting on the bottom. They must always remain in motion in order to respire valuable dissolved oxygen from the water. The blacktip reef shark can reach up to six and a half feet in length and most commonly feed on snakes and reef fish. With a sleek body and speedy tail, the blacktip reef shark sneaks up on prey with ease. Cruising coastlines in large schools, blacktip reef sharks often jump out of the water during a feeding frenzy of schools of fish, rays and even small sharks.

A new Giant Shovelnose Ray and a White Spotted Guitarfish will also accompany the sharks in their new habitat.


April 2012 - Moon Wrass

Penguins at The Living Planet Aquarium

If you look closely, you’ll see a new Moon Wrasse in the coral reef tank. Juvenile Moon Wrasse is duller colored with a black spot on the dorsal and caudal (tail) fin. They will become much more colorful as they mature. Therefore, you can tell the adults from the youngsters just by looking at them. They get their name from the yellow crescent or moon shape on their tail as an adult.

 

April 2012 - Red Rock Shrimp

There is a new Red Rock Shrimp in with the Pacific Seahorses! The Red Rock Shrimp is a type of cleaner shrimp. Cleaner shrimp will clean the mouths, gills, and scales of fish, like eels and groupers. Many aquarium enthusiasts have cleaner shrimp in their tanks because they help clean the other inhabitants, which helps to cut down on various diseases. Cleaner shrimp usually have long antennae in order to signal to large fish that they are not food. They wave their antennae in the water, which signals the fish to stop, and allows the shrimp to clean the fish. The large fish gets cleaned while the cleaner shrimp gets lunch!


April 2012 - Penguin Courtship

Penguins at The Living Planet Aquarium

Spring has sprung in the Penguin Encounter exhibit at The Living Planet Aquarium! Our penguins have selected their mates and are in the process of building nests in preparation for the breeding season. We have four couples: "Roto" (band: blue/wht/brwn) and female #1007 (Band: yel/wht/blk/yel), "Runner" (band: yel/org/wht/purple)and "Meg" (band: yel/wht/wht/pur), "Gossamer" (band: yel/org/wht/yel) and "Coco" (band: yel/red/grey/blue), and "Sampson" (band: blu/brn/brn) and "Georgia" (band: yel/blk/wht/blk). The behavior we have been observing are the courtship bow, where two penguins face each other and bow, as well as nest building or the presentation of a rock from a male to the female. At times, it feels like we are watching a live action penguin soap opera. There are little arguments between couples, there is rock stealing from one nest to another, and then there are moments where all pairs are bowing to each other. We are hopeful that we will have cute penguin chicks this summer, but only time will tell. Stay posted for more updates.


January 2012 - River Otter Exhibit

Our newest residents are three North American River Otters. Visit The Living Planet Aquarium and you can see these playful otters exploring their new habitat.

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