Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cownose rays move one step closer to Aquarium

A fever of cownose rays is comfortably swimming around their new home at the Aquarium's Animal Care Center. [The Marine Animal Rescue team also uses this facility to care for stranded sea turtles. Learn more on the Rescue Blog!] That's after Aquarium biologists successfully transported the rays from an offsite facility in Duxbury to the new large holding facility in Quincy. And the Patriot Ledger was there!

Cownose rays circling around their new tank at the Aquarium's Animal Care Center in Quincy.

Check out the Patriot Ledger article for more information and to see some of their pictures from the recent event. You can also go behind the scenes with this fantastic video!

Aquarium blog followers may remember that some of our aquarists and educators traveled south to Delaware to gather the rays earlier this fall. [Visit the Global Explorers blog for more on this successful expedition!] The rays are destined for a new exhibit coming in April—the largest shark and ray touch tank on the East Coast!  

Aquarium members will be given early opportunities to preview the new exhibit. Become a member today and be among the first people invited to touch the sharks and rays!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Penguins on ice!

Each year, the Aquarium puts up the first ice sculpture of First Night festivities on Dec. 26. This year, the sculptures went up on Sunday morning but were only seen by the public for a couple of hours. As snow started to fall and the wind whipped with the onset of the blizzard, the ice penguins were promptly wrapped up in insulated tarps to weather the storm. You can learn about these very special storm preparations in news reports from the Boston Herald, NPR and WCVB Channel 5.

Today, ice sculptor Don Chapelle cut them out of their snuggly wraps for the public to enjoy once again. And folks certainly are enjoying them. Take a look at the once-again unveiled penguin ice sculpture on the Aquarium's plaza!

The ice sculptures are giant replicas of four different penguins that live at the Aquarium. The tallest is of an African penguin named Roast Beef which tops out at 5 feet. At 4 feet-plus are Diego and Pebble, a pair of rockhopper penguins from South America. The smallest ice sculpture at just over 3 feet is of Lillico, a little blue penguin from Australia, which is the smallest penguin species in the world.

You might recognize these particular birds from the eye-catching advertising campaign that graced subways and billboards around town this summer. Come on down to see the sculptures yourself. While you're here, head inside to meet the real birds in the Aquarium's Penguin exhibit. Hope to see you!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A cool way to celebrate the solstice!

Our friends at the Greenway Conservancy are helping to put some twinkly cheer into the longest night of the year! Don your winter's warmest and head down to the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway tomorrow (Tuesday, December 21) to celebrate the grand unveiling of Bright Lights for Winter Nights, a three month public art and lighting display.


The Conservancy, the City of Boston and local residents are inviting people to bundle up and stroll the Greenway between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to enjoy music and activities for all ages. Be on the lookout for a very special ice sculpture of the penguin variety, just steps from the Aquarium! There will also be bell ringers and carolers, dancing and trolley rides. You might even find hot cocoa samples to warm your fingers!

Check the Greenway's website for the schedule and a complete list of activities.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

And the nominees are...

Inceptionnow playing at the Aquarium's Simons IMAX Theatre—has been nominated for four Golden Globes, including best drama! Now there's even more incentive to indulge in this feast of special effects and the mind-boggling story line, nominated for best screenplay. [Click here to see the trailer!]

Be blown away by crystal clear images of massive dreamscapes and surreal action sequences splayed across the largest screen in New England. The film follows Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and a team of expert information extractors as they freefall through a series of surreal mazes in an effort to manipulate reality in this wild thriller. Acclaimed director Christopher Nolan has been nominated for best director. Hans Zimmer's sound track was also nominated for best original score.

Don't miss out on this Golden Globe-nominated cinema spectacular! Click here to buy tickets. This film is rated PG-13.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Turtles Take to the Air

Sea turtles spend most of their lives in the ocean. So it was an unusual sight to see 20 of these remarkable creatures take flight—in the care of U.S. Coast Guard pilots, that is.

Several media outlets braved the rain to see the turtles off on their momentous journey from drizzly Hanscomb Air Force Base to balmy Florida, where they will continue their recovery at SeaWorld Orlando.

In case you missed it, check out some local news stories about this collaborative mission! 
WCVB Channel 5
WHDH Channel 7
Cape Cod Times

The special airlift made news in Florida, too! 

Also, check out Connie's blog post for the full account of the turtles' journey! See pictures take by the U.S. Coast Guard here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

So why should we help turtles?

Connie Merigo, director of the Aquarium's Marine Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation program, spoke to Robin Young on NPR's Here and Now this afternoon. In the radio broadcast, heard across the country, Connie explains to listeners why rescuers go to great lengths to save critically endangered sea turtles — like Kemp's ridley and green sea turtles.

Click here to listen.

Keep up with all the sea turtle patients at the Aquarium's Animal Care Center in Quincy on the Rescue Blog. You'll find pictures, video and plenty of stories from the front lines of this record sea turtle stranding event.

Monday, December 6, 2010

As numbers rise, sea turtles patients in the news

Sea turtles are certainly on many minds these days. In addition to the rescue team and volunteers working long hours caring for these endangered rescuees, media has also been interested in their well-being.

Swimming in turtles

Today, The Boston Globe took readers to the chilly beaches of Cape Cod where the helpless and hypothermic sea turtles are washing ashore. Read more about rescue efforts, on the Cape and in Quincy where Aquarium rescuers are treating the new arrivals, in this Globe article.

Photo credit: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe

Turtle fans might also be interested in a Cape Cod Times article about the new facility in Quincy. Where workers once manufactured piping for huge seafaring ships, now Aquarium teams are caring for those sea turtles rescued from the chilly seas, as well as cownose rays and bonnethead sharks. You'll read how the facility came on line just in the nick of time!

Photo credit: Steve Heaslip/Cape Cod Times

Be sure to keep up with the Rescue Blog for the latest news and numbers from Quincy. So far more than 115 have been treated by Aquarium rescuers! The men and women caring for these vulnerable animals are an inspirational bunch. Wanna help? Learn how you and your cell phone can support the Aquarium as rescuers care for endangered species.

Friday, December 3, 2010

First class flight to Baltimore for some rescued sea turtles

Yesterday, five of the dozens of rescued sea turtles that are being treated at the Aquarium's new Animal Care Center in Quincy took a big step in their rehabilitation. So far it has been an extremely busy sea turtle rescue season. The large numbers of animals coming to the Aquarium for care has been covered recently by The Boston Globe and WCVB (includes a news video).

Some of the sea turtles being cared for at the Aquarium's Animal Care Center in Quincy. (Photo: Meg Rabinowitz)

The animals were stable enough to be transported to the National Aquarium in Baltimore to continue their treatment. The sea turtles caught a ride to Norwood Memorial Airport in the Marine Animal Rescue Team van, then were placed on a Civil Air Patrol flight operated by volunteer pilots for the trip to Baltimore.

The Marine Animal Rescue Team van, with five turtles on board, arrives at the plane. (Photo: Meg Rabinowitz)

Connie Merigo, director of the Aquarium's Rescue and Rehab program, unloading snuggly boxed up turtles from the van. (Photo: Meg Rabinowitz)

Katy Roberts, taking a break from her usual Aquarium job as a grant writer, lends a hand. (Photo: Meg Rabinowitz)

Connie confers with one of the pilots after the turtles are loaded onto the plane. (Photo: Meg Rabinowitz)

And off they go. (Photo: Meg Rabinowitz)

You can keep up with all of the rescue team's efforts and interact with the rescuers on the Marine Animal Rescue Team Blog.