Chat with us, powered by LiveChat

Press ENTER to search, ESC to clear

5 Things I Learned: Cleaner Shrimp

Take a stroll down our Coastal Boardwalk Gallery and you’ll find all sorts of creatures. One of the most interesting that you’ll find in our invertebrate Touch Pool is the decapod crustacean, commonly known as a cleaner shrimp. These shrimp exhibit a cleaning symbiotic relationship with the fish they rid of parasites. Here are 5 facts that I have learned about cleaner shrimp.

You can come see a cleaner shrimp up close and even get a “mini-manicure” when they clean the dead skin from your fingers at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium’s Invertebrate Touch Pool. Nature. It’s a curious thing.

– Payton Burkhammer, Intern

5 Things I Learned: Weedy Seadragon

Is that seaweed or a weedy seadragon? Seaweed-like appendages camouflage the weedy seadragon, helping it blend in to its costal Australian habitat. Want to know more? Here are 5 things I learned, but beware, their laidback surfer vibe is relaxing enough to put you to sleep:

Weedy seadragons are a Near Threatened species found along the southern coastline of Australia. You can see weedy seadragons and learn more about conservation during your next visit to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. Nature. It’s a curious thing.

– Hannah Moskowitz, Intern

5 Things I Learned: Anableps

Quickly swimming at the surface, Anableps anableps can be difficult to spot despite the fact that they swim in schools. Let’s get a closer look at these unique fish.

Nature. It’s a curious thing.

– Megan Brown, Intern

5 Things I Learned: Bushynose Pleco

It might be hard to find a bushynose pleco, but that’s by design! Take a closer look at this bristlenose catfish in the video below.

Nature. It’s a curious thing.

– Hannah

Species Highlight: The Argentine Tegu

Commonly known as the giant tegu, the Argentine black-and-white tegu is the largest species of tegu lizard. We are going to take a closer look at one of the Greater Cleveland Aquarium’s newest residents and learn about its habitat, diet and even a unique characteristic with aquarist Brenton Maille.

Adaptability is Key

Did you know the Argentine tegu can survive in a range of habitats? From rainforest to scrubland, these tegus utilize the habitats available to them. Because tegus are very adaptable, they have resisted deforestation, which is a very common threat to species in the rainforest. “Tegus utilize different habitats and different areas of those habitats as well,” says Maille.

Many people know of this tegu species because it’s considered an invasive species in Florida, meaning it is not native to that area. According to Brenton, it is believed that the Argentine black-and-white tegu may have become invasive to Florida due to the pet trade. While the tegu is tiny and pretty adorable when young, they can eventually reach lengths of up to 4 feet which can be more than some pet owners are ready to handle. “Once a tegu started to get too large for a home environment people would release them into the wild, making them invasive species,” Maille says.

Maintaining a Balanced Diet

So what does a tegu eat? “In the wild, their diet changes throughout their life,” Maille says. When born, they are predators, eating mostly birds’ eggs and small insects. Once tegus get older and grow they switch to mostly omnivorous lifestyles, although they may still occasionally catch small rodents. They are generally good hunters and scavengers in the wild.

The Aquarium’s animal care staff works hard to make the diet balanced and reflect similarities of the wild. According to Maille, the Aquarium tegu receives “eggs, fish, rats and a mix of apples, bananas, pears and greens.”

Competitive Edge

Most people know that cold-blooded animals rely on outside temperatures to determine their body temperature. While the tegu is an ectotherm, it has the rare ability to raise its own body temperature by about five degrees in certain circumstance. While this is interesting and unique, there must be a reason . . . right? That reason is for breeding season. “Males compete better and females can produce and lay eggs faster,” Maille says.

Nature. It’s a curious thing. Learn more about the Argentine black and white tegu and other reptiles on your next visit to the Greater Cleveland Aquarium.

– Tori Pishkula

5 Things I Learned: Red Terror Cichlid

This colorful, eye-catching fish is a red terror cichlid (Cichlasoma festae). It can grow to lengths of 12 – 20 inches and live somewhere between 12 – 20 years. But what else do we know about it?

The red terror cichlid in the Aquarium’s Tropical Forest Gallery is hard to miss. Stop by and see this and many other very different but equally intriguing cichlids at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium. Nature. It’s a curious thing.

– Sam Fryberger

5 Things I Learned: Spotted Turtle

The  Greater Cleveland Aquarium is a partner in SPOTD, a cross-organization collaboration to boost the number of spotted turtles in Northeast Ohio. Learn more about these attractive little turtles here:

 

Nature. It’s a curious thing. To see a spotted turtle and learn about the Splash Fund, Wild4Ever Foundation and Terrestrial Brewing Company‘s “I Love It When I Save the Turtle Porter, visit the Greater Cleveland Aquarium’s Ohio Lakes & Rivers Gallery.

– Sam Fryberger

 

5 Things I Learned: Giant Pacific Octopus

The giant Pacific octopus comes by its name honestly—averaging somewhere around 16 feet across and 100 or so pounds. So , what else sets this cephalopod with eight arms, three hearts and nine brains apart? Find out here:

Nature. It’s a curious thing. You can see a GPO at the Greater Cleveland Aquarium—but you may really have to look to find him.

 

Fear the Frill

Did you know that the coloration of a frilled lizard depends on where it lives? Fortunately I had the opportunity to talk to Bethany Hickey, a Greater Cleveland Aquarium Aquarist, to learn all about one of the aquarium’s newest residents.

Check out the video below, and come visit the Greater Cleveland Aquarium to see the frilled lizard for yourself… if you can spot it!

Nature. It’s a curious thing.