AAQ Picture Day – No Retakes Needed!

It’s a yearly tradition for every kid in school: Picture Day!  We decided to have a little bit of fun with our own version of the class of 2017-2018…

AAQ-00352_ClassPictures_Instagram-1936x1936-Bob

If she decided to run for AAQ class president it would really be no surprise.  Resident loggerhead sea turtle, Bob, is sort of the diva of Ocean Realm. She is the 3rd largest animal at the aquarium, behind the Nile hippos, Genny and Button. Bob enjoys cruising around the 760,000-gallon Ocean Realm exhibit, eating nutritious snacks like romaine and fish as well as taking naps beneath the porthole windows of Sea Turtle Cove. Be sure to say hi to her at the panoramic window the next time you visit!

AAQ-00352_ClassPictures_Instagram-1936x1936-Genny

Genny is 1/2 of the duo of Nile hippos that reside in Adventure Aquarium’s Hippo Haven. Genny is younger than her roommate Button but she’s about 1,000 pounds bigger weighing in at over 4,000 lb.  When she’s not napping underwater or snacking on leafy greens, Genny loves photobombing guests – seriously, check Instagram.  Her fun-loving and big personality makes her a no brainer class clown contender.

AAQ-00352_ClassPictures_Instagram-1936x1936-Shark

Sandbar sharks, also known as brown sharks, are native to our area and can be found right off the Jersey coastline.  The sandbar sharks live in Shark Realm, along with sand tiger, nurse and black tip sharks. Like many other shark species, sandbar sharks give birth to live young. Female sandbars can produce between one and 14 pups per litter.

Did you know Adventure Aquarium has the largest collection of sharks on the East Coast?

AAQ-00352_ClassPictures_Instagram-1936x1936-Sydney

Our laughing kookaburra, Sydney, resides in Little Blue Beach and can be heard throughout the day making his manic laugh-like call.  (Some think it sounds a bit like a monkey’s call).  Sydney enjoys perching and watching guests walk by on their way to visit his neighbors, the little blue penguins.

AAQ-00352_ClassPictures_Instagram-1936x1936-Clownfish

Some people may see a clownfish and think Nemo.  True, the Disney/Pixar character really put clownfish in the spotlight.  While some may know that clownfish have a symbiotic relationship (meaning a close and long-term biological interaction between two different biological organisms) with sea anemone, they can only live in ten out of more than one thousand species of anemone. Clownfish have a mucus covering that protects them from the sting of the sea anemone’s tentacles. The territorial fish protects the anemone from anemone-eating fish, and in turn the stinging tentacles of the anemone protect the clownfish from its predators.

AAQ-00352_ClassPictures_Instagram-1936x1936-Kororaa

Kororaa is a member of our little blue penguin colony.  She joined the group last year from New England Aquarium.  Little blues are the smallest (and cutest) penguins in the world.  Adventure Aquarium is just 1 of 6 facilities in the US to exhibit these birds! How cool is that?

We hope you enjoyed our Picture Day photos of some of our AAQ Animals.  Be sure to say hello to each of them during your next visit!

Advertisements

Happy Halloween from Our #AAQBooCrew!

Hey there guys, gals and ghouls!  The spookiest day of the year is finally here and Adventure Aquarium is getting into the spirit!  Our sharks, sea turtles, penguins, stingrays and other sea life wear pretty elaborate outfits all year-round.  We thought it might be fun to highlight some of the creepiest and most colorful creations at Adventure Aquarium. Here’s a special Halloween countdown of our #AAQBooCrew, who are in the Halloween spirit every day of the year.

AAQ-000353_Halloween_Instagram-1936x1936-Filefish

#8. The colorful Filefish is ready for Halloween!  His small mouth is where you’ll find a few strong incisor-like teeth (is he channeling vampire or werewolf vibes?). The filefish uses these teeth to break off pieces of coral to feed and to chisel holes into the shells of mollusks.

AAQ-000353_Halloween_Instagram-1936x1936-Lionfish

#7. The Lionfish has beautiful stripes and fins that appear more like feathers – talk about an elaborate costume for a fish!  This invasive species can be found in the U.S. Southeast and Caribbean coastal waters. While it may appear to be beautiful, be careful if you encounter this top predator as it is venomous.

AAQ-000353_Halloween_Instagram-1936x1936-MorayEels

#6. Moray eels definitely look creepy (hello, that’s what makes eels kind of awesome, right?)!  What makes them even creepier?? They have TWO sets of jaws! They attack their prey with a hidden set of chompers (YIKES!). First, the outer jaws firmly grasp the target. Next, their pharyngeal set shoots forward, bites the prey, and pulls it into the throat.

AAQ-000353_Halloween_Instagram-1936x1936-Pufferfish

#5. Sometimes Halloween costumes can be super cute.  Take the pufferfish which may seem to be even cuter when fully expanded — but don’t be fooled.  Did you know it’s the second most poisonous vertebrate on the planet? The poison of a pufferfish, which has no known antidote, kills by paralyzing the diaphragm, causing suffocation.

AAQ-000353_Halloween_Instagram-1936x1936-RibbonEel

#4.  The ribbon eel is a species of moray eel and, let’s be honest, super cute (look at that face!).  It grows to an overall length of approximately 3.3 feet and has a life span of up to twenty years.  They are carnivores, preying on small fish and other marine creatures.  Ribbon eels can attract their prey with their flared nostrils and then clamp down on them with their strong jaws and retreat into their burrows.

AAQ-000353_Halloween_Instagram-1936x1936-WolfEel

#3. Of course the wolf eel is on our list – look at that mug!  Can you imagine wearing a wolf eel mask for your Halloween costume?  While he definitely looks a little creepy, the wolf eel is not actually a true eel, but part of the Anarhichadidae family of “wolf fishes”.  Did you know they can grow up to almost 8 feet long?

AAQ-000353_Halloween_Instagram-1936x1936-Frog

#2. Can you say Yoda? All Star Wars fans can agree that the waxy monkey frog has definite Yoda vibes and may have the best facial expression of any amphibian.  She might not be that great at hopping but the waxy monkey frog does extremely well in trees, using opposable thumbs to pull her way around. High temperatures (up to 41°C or 106°F) and direct sunlight would dry out most other frogs but the waxy monkey frog thrives in those conditions.

AAQ-000353_Halloween_Instagram-1936x1936-Dragonet

#1.  Not all Halloween costumes have to be creepy or scary!  Just ask all the princesses, unicorns, fairies and our final #AAQBooCrew member! The Mandarin dragonet is absolutely stunning with bright and colorful fins.  She is also shy by nature. During the day, this peaceful fish is quite reclusive, but at times she can be seen perching or hopping atop corals. She moves by briskly pulsating her fins, which resembles a hummingbird.  #Gorgeous

We hope you enjoyed checking out our #AAQBooCrew!  Come visit them right here at Adventure Aquarium on Halloween and all 364 other days of the year.  Have fun tonight and be safe trick-or-treating!  And save some candy for us!

Happy Halloween!

#AAQMermaids Checklist: Sea Everything During Your Visit!

AAQ-00126_Mermaids_Twitter-1024x512

Magic and Mermaids will return to Adventure Aquarium in just days! 

Back by popular demand, the mythical world of Mermaids returns for a limited time from Sunday, November 5 through Sunday, November 12.

Did we mention the Mermaid Experience is included with Aquarium admission or Membership?? We want to make sure you get to SEA everything during Mermaids so here’s a handy checklist to use during your visit!

IG emmarosewright2010

#1. See a Mermaid Swim in Shark Realm

Currents Ballroom is the new home for Mermaids in 2017.  You don’t want to miss the mesmerizing Wands and Wishes Mermaids dive in our 550,000-gallon Shark Realm exhibit and appear in one of Currents Ballroom’s movie screen-sized windows.  The sharks, graceful stingrays and glittering schools of menhaden gliding past are just a bonus (Zone D)!

Mermaid Lara Johnston

 #2. Mermaid Meet-N-Greet

Have you ever wanted to chat with a Mermaid?  Us too.  Now is your chance!  Get up close and on dry-land to meet and greet with a Mermaid and pose for photos in the Blue Mile (Zone B).

aaq-mermaids-2

#3. Get a Mermaid’s Autograph

Have another dry-land opportunity to meet a Mermaid up close in Ocean Realm Panoramic Window (Zone A) and receive a free autograph! Available daily during Mermaids.

#4. Krafty Kelpers

Stop by the Krafty Kelpers table to make a kid-friendly Mermaid Crown or Pirate Hat, offered daily during Mermaids.

Mermaids SBC

#5. Watch out for the Pirate Captain, Mateys!

Shiver me timbers! Meet, greet and snap a photo with our real-life Pirate Captain.

IG pollywall

#6. Complete Your Treasure Map

Grab a map when you arrive and then collect colorful sticker coins at each Mermaid experience throughout the Aquarium to complete your commemorative Mermaid treasure map.

#7. Mermaid and Pirate Face Painting and Glitter Tattoos

Be sure to channel your inner mermaid or pirate during your visit as Stacey’s Face Painting will offer themed designs daily during Mermaids.  Check out that Deluxe little mermaid below!

20161104_AAQ_Mermaids-8

#8. Stop by the Mermaid Shop

Why not do a little shopping while you’re here? Mermaid merchandise will be available all week in our Gift Shop (Zone E) and the Mermaid Shop in the Blue Mile (Zone B). From Mermaid apparel to Mermaid blankets to Pirate-themed toys, there is something for everyone to enjoy (while supplies last).

#9. Exclusive Members-only Mermaid Events & Early Opens

Are you a Member? Make sure you RSVP for the Saturday, November 4 or Friday, November 10 events, which include special access to the Mermaid Experience.

Members will also have special early open access to Mermaids on Saturday, November 11 and Sunday, November 12 beginning at 9:00 a.m.

AAQ Mermaids 1

So, what are you waiting for?? Begin your Mermaid Experience RIGHT NOW and purchase your tickets online by visiting AdventureAquarium.com.  Then join us in counting down the days, minutes and seconds until Mermaids arrive!

aaq-00126_mermaids_banner-600x200

Bon Voyage Darwin + THANK YOU AAQ Guests!

Did you know? Six out of seven sea turtle species are vulnerable, endangered or critically endangered.

This week was a little rough but ultimately bittersweet as we said farewell to loggerhead hatchling, now yearling, Darwin on Wednesday.  *Check out our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts for the complete story of #DarwinsDeparture.*

File Oct 18, 8 43 33 AM

Every year, Adventure Aquarium fosters a hatchling from North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores Sea Turtle Program to rehabilitate for one year. Our biologists are responsible to guide and train the hatchling to do activities it would normally do in the wild aka Sea Turtle Survival School.

After a year, the hatchling is released into the wild off the coast of North Carolina along with other yearlings from aquariums all over the country, including our sister aquarium in Kentucky – Newport Aquarium.

Two of our biologists, Alex and Alexis, escorted the little sea turtle, who grew from the size of a palm…

 

…into the size of a dinner plate! He is one big, feisty turtle!!

Darwin was also reunited with his nest mate, Frank the Tank, from Newport Aquarium.

File Oct 18, 12 08 11 PMFile Oct 18, 12 09 36 PM

He’s now swimming wild and free out in the Atlantic Ocean and we know in our hearts that he’ll be fine out there in the deep blue sea.  #misshimalready

It was just two weekends ago that we had a HUGE sendoff party for the little turtle aka Sea Turtle Awareness Weekend. Not only did guests get to see this awesome reptile one last time but we raised over $10K for sea turtles in the wild and the Sea Turtle Conservancy! *AWESOMEEEEE*

AAQ-00343_STAW2017_Instagram-1936x1936-TY

We’ll be introducing a new loggerhead hatchling soon so stay tuned for more baby sea turtle cuteness!!!

 

#SeaTurtleLove: Top 6 Reasons to Visit AAQ for Sea Turtle Awareness Weekend

*Adventure Aquarium’s resident sea turtles are throwing a party this Columbus Day Weekend for the third year in a row – and everyone is invited.*

Yep, EVERYBODY.

1. It’s Fall, ya’ll.

It’s officially fall, which means PSL season is here!  To thoroughly enjoy your first 3-day holiday weekend of autumn (Columbus Day Weekend – 10/7-10/9!), grab your best flannel and join our resident sea turtle fam for the 3rd annual Sea Turtle Awareness Weekend to help sea turtles in the wild.

AAQ-00343_STAW2017_Facebook-1200x900

2. Say Goodbye to this little cutie

File Oct 02, 9 44 33 AM

D’awwww there’s Darwin when he first arrived at AAQ last fall! He’s gotten so big!

Bid final farewells to our loggerhead sea turtle hatchling Darwin, who will be traveling to North Carolina to be released into the Gulf Stream later in October.  Darwin has grown up so much this past year while he’s been in our care and is ready to be released into the ocean. This will really be the last opportunity to say goodbye to this little guy – so don’t miss it!

darwin1

*Did you know? Every year, Adventure Aquarium acquires a hatchling from North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores Sea Turtle Program to rehabilitate for one year. Biologists are responsible to guide and train the hatchling to do activities it would normally do in the wild. After a year, the hatchling is released into the wild off the coast of North Carolina along with other yearlings from aquariums all over the country.*

But seriously…he was SO TINY!!!!!

File Oct 02, 9 44 17 AM

 

3. All the Sea Turtle Activities

Sea Turtle Physical3

Throughout the weekend, stop by his exhibit in Sea Turtle Cove (Zone A) to catch sea turtle content, feeds, daily diet facts, various ways guests can save a sea turtle and much more.  Learn about what they eat, their habits, the personalities of AAQ’s sea turtles and much more. You can even participate in an interactive sea turtle survival game.  Watch as Adventure Aquarium’s resident turtles go through stimulating enrichment sessions in Ocean Realm. (HINT: They love to eat!)

4. Go Beyond the Glass

AAQ-00343_STAW2017_Instagram-1936x1936

Go behind the scenes during this special $99 Sea Turtle Encounter with AAQ’s family of sea turtles. Help care for, train and hand-feed green and loggerhead sea turtles, as well as bring home a souvenir photo and t-shirt. 50% of proceeds benefit sea turtles in the wild! If interested, guests are encouraged to reserve a spot as space is limited. Call Group Sales at 800-616-JAWS (5297) to book now!

5. Bring-A-Friend Benefits

AAQ-00343_STAW2017_Mobile-359x215

We’re excited to introduce Member Bring-A-Friend Conservation Weekend offer.  Members can bring their friends, family and neighbors as special guests to the sea turtle party– all while donating to a good cause! $5 of every discounted admission ticket sold will be donated to the Sea Turtle Conservancy. Adult tickets (ages 13+) are $23.50 and $19 for children (ages 2-12).  As always, kids under 2 are free with an accompanying adult.  Tickets must be used between Saturday, 10/7 and Monday, 10/9.

 Not a Member? Become one today!

6. Take a Sea Turtle Home??

17434717_10155331285199131_9150503042962070160_o

Well, not really…BUT Sea Turtle Adoptions are available! You can adopt an Adventure Aquarium sea turtle at The Gift Shop, with 20% of the proceeds benefitting Sea Turtle Conservancy.

BONUS #7. Be a hard shell’s hero

 

Did you know that 7 out of the 8 sea turtle species are endangered? #realtalk

When you visit during Sea Turtle Awareness Weekend not only do you get to party with some awesome animals but it’s all for a great cause.

The annual Sea Turtle Awareness Weekend will raise awareness for endangered sea turtles in the wild and the Sea Turtle Conservancy.

Hope to see you here this weekend!!!

Thank You! xoxo, AAQ’s African Penguins

AAQ-00320_APAW2017_Instagram-1936x1936-TY

Your penguin love showed this past Labor Day Weekend and our black and white birds are waddling with joy!

Our largest-ever group of African penguins hosted their 9th annual African Penguin Awareness Weekend, aka an awesome end of summer party for a great cause.  The festivities featured perfectly penguin programming, special behind the scenes Encounters and more.

Thanks to your generosity, $12,840.29 will help save endangered African penguins in the wild.  Since the fundraising event began in 2009, Adventure Aquarium guests have raised over $45,000 for African penguin conservation! **HAPPY DANCE**

“I would like to thank our guests and staff, who came together to raise conservation awareness and support for such a worthy cause,” said Michele Pagel, Curator for Birds and Mammals at Adventure Aquarium. “Our African penguins serve as important ambassadors for their species and were vital to the success of this weekend.  We are so proud to connect families with a greater connection to conservation awareness.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We welcomed thousands of guests last weekend who participated in the weekend’s three-day conservation event and supported the cause in a variety of ways, including purchasing unique paintings created by members of the penguin colony and custom-designed t-shirts as well as participating in special Penguin Encounters and other activities.  The Penguin Island residents also got in on the fun as they waddled and played in the water throughout the weekend.

So, where will the money go?  The donations collected will benefit the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) and AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction, with both organizations helping to preserve the endangered African penguin species in the wild.  The donation will go toward AZA SAFE’s artificial nest box project, SANCCOB’s South African penguin hospital, chick bolstering, oil spill assistance and other needs.  We’re so excited to be able to help build up these programs!

Penguin in Water (2)

Did you miss out on the party? Don’t worry! We’ll host our final conservation-focused weekend in 2017 as sea turtles take center stage during Sea Turtle Awareness Weekend (Columbus Day Holiday Weekend, October 7-9).  For more information on upcoming events, visit AdventureAquarium.com.  Hope to sea you there!

AAQ-00282_SplashAndBubbles_Email-600x200

Labor Day Weekend Means End of Summer Penguin Awareness Party!

Help raise money for conservation and party with penguins this Labor Day Weekend, September 2-4!

AAQ-00320_APAW2017_Instagram-1936x1936

Adventure Aquarium, in partnership with the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB) and AZA SAFE: Saving Animals From Extinction, is proud to announce the 9th Annual African Penguin Awareness Weekend, a festival which creates awareness for endangered African Penguins in the wild.

During Labor Day Weekend, Saturday, September 2 through Monday, September 4, guests will enjoy a wide variety of penguin programming, including special behind the scenes encounters, an interactive penguin dance party and much more!

“We are excited to celebrate our ninth year hosting African Penguin Awareness Weekend,” said Michele Pagel, Curator of Birds and Mammals, Adventure Aquarium.  “African penguins are endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species (IUCN). This weekend gives our African penguin colony and our team the chance to spread awareness for our conservation partners, SANCCOB and AZA SAFE, as well as invite our guests to help make a difference and save penguins in the wild.”

All donations made during the weekend will benefit penguins in the wild, including artificial nesting efforts and chick bolstering to help encourage successful breeding in their native South Africa.

AFRICAN PENGUIN AWARENESS WEEKEND PROGRAMMING

AAQ-00320_APAW2017_Facebook-1200x1200

NEW! Special $99 Penguin EncountersGo behind the scenes during this special Awareness Weekend Encounter, which includes meeting some of AAQ’s African penguins residents, one free photo with a penguin and a premade 5×7 penguin foot painting.  Space is limited, guests are encouraged to book prior to the weekend by calling Group Sales at 800-616-JAWS (5297).

NEW! Penguin Dance Party – Guests are invited to dress in their black and white, penguin-inspired best and show off their moves in interactive dance sessions in the Rotunda (Zone B) throughout the day. Check show guide for times.

File Jun 13, 11 44 32 AM

Perfectly-Penguin Feeds – Guests can observe biologists feed the penguins their favorite meal as well as learn from Penguin Experts as they explain the daily nutrition of the penguins and other fun facts. Feedings are held in Penguin Island and are free for all Adventure Aquarium guests. Arrive early to grab a spot, as this is a popular show for visitors. For the latest feed schedule times, head to adventureaquarium.com.

File Jun 13, 11 44 54 AM

Behind-the-scenes Penguin Video – Visitors will get a unique inside perspective of a day in the life of the Adventure Aquarium penguin colony, including prepping their meals, receiving check-ups, molting, swimming, painting and much more.

Explore and Discover Penguin Artifacts – Guests will get a hands-on look at the various “biofacts” of African Penguins. Explore and discover African Penguin feathers, eggs, diet, vitamins, and much more as well as read informative displays about African Penguins, SANCCOB and AZA SAFE.

Penguin Adoptions – Guests can adopt an Adventure Aquarium penguin at The Gift Shop, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting SANCCOB. Find out more details on how to adopt a member of the colony!

We hope to see you there!

 

File Jun 13, 9 22 45 AM