Butterflies are Back!

THE BUTTERFLIES ARE BACK

10 Fun Facts About These Colorful Insects

Thursday, June 14, 2018 written by Jennie Kwok and photographed by Mika Miller
The Butterflies are back at The Butterfly Experience at the Aquarium! Our habitat features the species Vanessa cardui—otherwise known as Painted ladies. Here are 10 facts to properly introduce you to them:

1. This species can go through their entire life cycle (egg, larvae/caterpillar, pupa/chrysalis, and adult) in less than a month.

 

2. New caterpillars will eat its own egg.

 

3. These caterpillars spin silk tents to help support and protect themselves.

 

4. Shedding may occur about four times as they grow.

 

5. The chrysalis can shake violently to ward off predators.

 

6. While a chrysalis, much of the caterpillar’s body liquefies and reassembles as a butterfly.

 

7. A few hours before the butterfly emerges, the chrysalis turns a dark (almost black) color.

 

8. Butterfly blood is clear.

 

9. They cannot survive in colder regions; therefore, migration patterns are highly erratic.

 

10. The adult Painted lady butterfly only lives for about two weeks.

 

Prepare to be mesmerized by these flying insects in our Journey to South America habitat at The Butterfly Experience! This experience is included with general admission and Aquarium memberships.
Download the Painted lady butterfly wallpaper HERE.

Nudibranchs

NUDIBRANCHS

10 Colorful Facts About These Sea Slugs

Thursday, March 28, 2019 written and photographed by Mika Miller
Nudibranchs (pronounced noo-duh-branks) are colorful sea slugs that can be found in oceans all over the world! Read on to learn 10 cool facts about these amazing sea creatures.

1. The name nudibranch comes from the Latin word nudus, meaning naked, and the Greek word brankhia, meaning gills. This refers to the gills and gill-like appendages that stick out of the backs of many nudibranchs.

 

2. There are over 3,000 species of nudibranch, with new species still being discovered! We have four species at the Aquarium: Yellow-edged cadlina, Sea clown nudibranch, Lemon nudibranch, and Ring-spotted doris.

 

3. Nudibranchs get their coloration from the food they eat. They feast mostly on sponges, coral, anemones, and barnacles.

 

4. The two “horns” on the top of a nudibranch’s head are called rhinophores. These are chemical receptors that allow them to find food and mates.

 

5. Nudibranchs have a foot! They move around using a flat, broad muscle on their underside called a foot.

 

6. Nudibranchs are hermaphroditic, meaning that they have both male and female reproductive organs.

 

7. Some nudibranchs are poisonous. They extract poisonous chemicals from their prey, like toxic sponges.

 

8. There are two main species types of nudibranchs, dorid and eolid. Dorid species have gills at their back end, whereas eolid species have finger-like tentacles covering their back.

 

9. Nudibranchs can only see in shades of light and dark and cannot see color.

 

10. These colorful sea slugs can range in size from a few millimeters in length to 12 inches long and can weigh up to three pounds!

Visit some of these amazing nudibranchs in our Ocean Explorer habitat!

Aquarium Valentines

AQUARIUM VALENTINES 

PRINTABLE VALENTINES FOR YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTTER

Monday, February 04, 2018 written and photographed by Mika Miller

Happy Valentine’s Day from Loveland Living Planet Aquarium! Send your best “fishes” to all your loved ones with these Valentine’s Day cards. Download and print them out, or share them digitally.

Year in Review

YEAR IN REVIEW

A Look Back at the Wonderful Moments of 2018

Monday, December 31, 2018 written and photographed by Mika Miller
With 2019 just around the corner, we wanted to take a moment to celebrate all the amazing things that happened at the Aquarium in 2018! Drag the slider across the image to reveal our 2018 highlights.
We are so excited for all the new adventures that 2019 will bring.

2018 Advent Calendar

ADVENT CALENDAR 2018 

COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS WITH THE AQUARIUM

December 2018

It’s December and Christmas is almost here! Count down with our Advent Calendar. Every day, find the date below and click on it for a variety of new downloads or puzzles for you to enjoy!

Fact or Fiction?

FACT OR FICTION?

Can you tell the difference?

Thursday, November 29, 2018 written and photographed by Mika Miller
Can you tell fact from fiction? Put your animal knowledge to the test below. Swipe left on the photos to reveal whether the statement is true or false.
Learn more amazing animal facts at the Aquarium by talking to our knowledgeable educators!

10 Things You Don’t Know About Clownfish

CLOWNFISH FUN FACTS

10 Things You Don’t Know About Clownfish

Wednesday, November 07, 2018 written and photographed by Mika Miller
We’re not clowning around when we say we love clownfish! Here’s 10 lesser known facts about these amazing anemonefish.

1. There are around 30 known species of clownfish.

 

2. Clownfish live in the warm waters of sheltered reefs and shallow seas in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. During the winter, they will migrate to deeper water to stay warm.

 

3. Schools of clownfish have a strict hierarchy, with the most aggressive female at the top.

 

4. All clownfish are born male. When the dominant female dies, the dominant male will turn itself into a female.

 

5. Not all anemones are Clownfish friendly. There are over 1,000 anemone species and only ten of those can coexist with clownfish. Even then only certain pairs of clownfish and anemones are compatible.

 

6. Clownfish are omnivores. They eat dead anemone tentacles, leftovers from the anemone, plankton, mollusk, zooplankton, phytoplankton, small crustaceans and various algae.

 

7. Clownfish are not great swimmers. They mostly hide in anemones, and when they do venture out, their swimming patterns are very erratic.

 

8. Male clownfish are dedicated fathers. They will prepare the nest for the female, guard the eggs, and clean the nest.

 

9. Clownfish communicate by making popping and clicking noises.

 

10. Clownfish catch prey by swimming onto the reef, attracting larger fish, and luring them back to the anemone. The anemone will sting and eat the larger fish, leaving the remains for the clownfish.

 

Visit our clownfish in our Ocean Explorer habitat!

Cuvier’s Dwarf Caimans

CUVIER’S DWARF CAIMANS

10 facts about these cool crocodilians

Friday, September 07, 2018 written and photographed by Mika Miller
Have you seen our Cuvier’s Dwarf caimans? They are sometimes difficult to spot as they rest most of their body below water, leaving only their eyes above. Here are 10 fun facts about these crocodilians.

1. The dwarf caiman is the smallest member of the crocodilian family, growing to be about four to five feet in length.

 

2. There are six species of caimans: Cuvier’s dwarf caiman, Spectacled caiman, Yacare caiman, Broad-snouted caiman, Smooth-fronted caiman, and Black caiman.

 

3. The teeth of dwarf caimans are often used as amulets. Some cultures believe that this provides protection from snake bites.

 

4. Caimans are not crocodiles or alligators. Though they belong to the same order, Crocodilia, as crocodiles and alligators, caimans are their own species.

 

5. Other common names for this species are musky caiman and wedge-head caiman.

 

6. When swimming, caimans propel themselves forward by using their large tails.

 

7. Cuvier’s dwarf caimans are ambush predators. They remain motionless and wait for their prey to come within striking distance.

 

8. Temperature differences in a caiman’s nest can determine the gender of the hatchlings. Colder temperatures produce more females while warmer temperatures produce more males.

 

9. Under human care, dwarf caimans can live up to 60 years!

 

10. Cuvier’s dwarf caimans can swim at a speed of 30 miles per hour.

 

Discover our two Cuvier’s dwarf caimans in our Journey to South America hall.

Darwin & Ilsa

DARWIN & ILSA

10 Sharp facts about Prehensile-tailed porcupines

Wednesday, August 29, 2018 written and photographed by Mika Miller
We recently welcomed two Prehensile-tailed porcupines to our Aquarium family! Here are 10 fun facts about these amazing animals.

1. Porcupines have a very unique and pungent smell! One of the reasons porcupines emit such a powerful odor is to warn predators that they have raised their quills.

 

2. Their long-clawed digits on their feet help them climb.

 

3. Prehensile-tailed porcupines will stamp their hind feet when excited and curl up into a ball when threatened.

 

4. They have semi-hollow quills. These quills have tiny barbs on the tips making them hard to remove.

 

5. Porcupines are rodents! Like all rodents, their front teeth are constantly growing and need to be worn down by gnawing.

 

6. Porcupines cannot shoot their quills. However, if a predator makes contact with the quills, they detach easily from the porcupine.

 

7. Prehensile-tailed porcupines spend most of their time in the treetops of the jungle canopy.

 

8. Their long, prehensile tails make these porcupines excellent climbers.

 

9. They eat leaves, flowers, shoots, roots, and fruits.

 

10. Their quills are modified hairs. They are made out of the same protein as human hairs: keratin.

 

Quill you come and visit these cuties? You can see them in the small aviary in our Journey to South America hall.

World Lizard Day

WORLD LIZARD DAY

10 Cool Facts About Lizards

Tuesday, August 14, 2018 written and photographed by Mika Miller
It’s World Lizard Day! To celebrate here are 10 amazing facts about lizards.

1. Crocodile skinks are one of the few lizard species that can vocalize or cry out when in trouble.

 

2. Crested geckos do not have eyelids. In order to keep their eyes free of dirt, they lick them.

 

3. Cuban Iguanas are omnivores. They eat fruit, flowers, insects, and snails. Young Cuban iguanas eat more insects and shift to eating 95 percent vegetation as they age.

 

4. Sailfin dragons are able to run across water on their hind legs for short distances. They are also able to stay submerged in water for up to an hour.

 

5. Tegus enjoy digging in dirt and soaking in warm baths. They are active during the day and burrow at night.

 

6. The Rhacodactylus leachianus is one of the largest gecko species in the world. They grow to be between 14 and 17 inches long.

 

7. Chinese tree dragons are insectivores. They eat any insect that will fit in their mouth including termites, ants, worms, and flies.

 

8. Caiman lizards have a clear third eyelid that they can close when they are underwater. This eyelid allows the lizard to see underwater and acts as goggles so that they can hunt for food such as tasty snails, clams, and crawfish.

 

9. A Gecko’s tail can store food and water. The gecko uses this energy when food is scarce.

 

10. Green tree monitors have a prehensile tail that acts like a fifth foot.

 

You can find all of these awesome lizards throughout the Aquarium!