Turtles breathe underwater with Cloacal Respiration: A Moment in Science

[Various gross animal sounds] This is a Painted Turtle one of North Carolina’s more attractive aquatic turtles. However, it’s got a pretty unattractive way of breathing at least in the wintertime. during the summer you’re likely to find this turtle basking in the sun on logs in lakes and ponds but in the wintertime it […]

Ask the Aquarium — “Why do small fish matter?”

I’m standing in front of River Giants, and these have our big fish. That’s what everyone seems to be attracted to and notice, but our rivers and creeks are full of small, little fish that are really important. What are these big fish going to eat? They’ve got to eat smaller fish. What do these […]

Serena’s Story: Why Sensory Inclusivity Matters at the Aquarium

Do you want to go to the Aquarium today? Today, I came with my husband, Craig, and my two children, Serena, who is 7, and Lucas, my son, who just turned 4. Serena has a couple of diagnoses. When she was six months old, she started to have seizures, so she was diagnosed with epilepsy. […]

Ask the Aquarium — “Why do the turtles stretch out their legs?”

We’re doing turtle yoga here in the swamp. We do it every single day, but what that means is for our aquatic turtles, these guys living in their life in the water, they’ve got to get out and catch some sunlight. So they’re crawling out and they are basking. What that means for them is […]

Saving Endangered Sea Turtles

Meet Buckwheat, Mikey, Beaker, Barney, Alfalfa, Newman, Goober and Barnacle Bill…they’re just a few of the sea turtles being treated at the Turtle Hospital in the Florida Keys “We’ve been rescuing rehabilitating and releasing sea turtles for almost 30 years.” Their goal—to make sure one of the oldest surviving animal species on earth does not […]

The art of preserving a blue marlin | Natural History Museum

So here we are in Hintze Hall, our newly renovated space. On this ground floor we have ten Wonder Bays, which show the sorts of collections that we’ve got. So on the east side we have we have extinct specimens, and on the west side we have extant specimens that are still in the world […]

How turtle shells evolved… twice – Judy Cebra Thomas

Meet Odontochelys semitestacea. This little creature spends its days splashing in Late Triassic swamps with a host of other reptiles. Under the surface lies its best defense against attack: a hard shell on its belly. Odontochelys is an early ancestor of the turtle. Its half-shelled body illustrates an important point about the modern turtle: it […]

Bay 101: Food for Fish in the Chesapeake Bay

Forage are the small organisms that feed bigger organisms. The small fishes that often are seen schooling near the surface in Chesapeake Bay. And sometimes you see big flocks of birds feeding on these fish, and oftentimes predator fish under the schools driving, them to the surface. That’s what you would seek out when you […]

Ask the Aquarium — “What is a turtle’s shell made of?”

That’s a great question. So today, I’m holding a Mexican Box Turtle. This is a male. You know that because of the really bright colorations he has and a few other ways, of course, too. For the shell, it’s actually made of bone, and it’s covered in a keratin overlayer. Now, that keratin is the […]

Shell-ebrating the Year of the Turtle in 2020!

I work at an Aquarium that really likes turtles and supports us in doing turtle — turtle-y things. Pretty much, I do turtle stuff all day, if I can get away with it. It’s hard not to look at a turtle and go, “Hey, that’s a cool animal,” you know? They live a long time. […]