An Enquirer.com Special Section FRIDAY, MAY 14, 1999
Hours, prices, and other information were current at time of publication and may have changed.

shark

THE AQUARIUM
- Introduction
- Going there
- The murals
- The music
- Shop and Eat
- Beginnings

THE EXHIBITS

- World Rivers
- Shore Gallery
- Touch Pool
- Bizarre & Beautiful
- Dangerous & Deadly
- Riverbank
- 'Gator Bayou
-Amazon Rain Forest
- Coral Reef
- Jellyfish Gallery
- Kingdom of Penguins
- Ray Nursery
- Repopulation
- Surrounded by Sharks

THE STAFF

- Staff and keepers
Oceanic Adventures Newport Aquarium] [Building image]
Dangerous & Deadly
Eerie music alerts senses for creatures hard to pick out, deadly to encounter

        A skeleton, wearing only an air tank, mask and flippers, greets visitors to Dangerous & Deadly. The diver hangs from a fishing net on the ceiling.

        Who was responsible for claiming the life of Mr. Bones?

[electric eel]
Electric Eel
        The lineup includes all of the sea's usual suspects. Was it the sting of the Lionfish? Did he or she step on a Stonefish? Maybe an Electric Eel shocked the diver or a school of frenzied Piranhas had a feast.

        The completely decomposed body leaves little or no clues, only a warning: Every creature in this area is armed and extremely dangerous.

        Eerie music and dim lighting provide appropriate ambiance for a stroll among some of the seas most cunning creatures. Be sure not to miss the picture of the Oarfish. This tremendous fish is rarely seen, let alone photographed, and is thought to be the reason for a number of sea monster myths.

[squid mural] Squid Mural
About the Artwork
        A gigantic squid dwarfs a Great White Shark as several Hammerhead Sharks and a diver circle above. Rocky outcroppings serve as a frame, and light filters in from the back of the scene. The maroon squid's tangled tentacles are the focal point.

Origins
        The Stonefish lives in the tropical Pacific and Indian Oceans. Cuttlefishes live in the Mediterranean Sea and eastern Atlantic from England to North Africa. Electric Eels call South America home, and the Alligator Snapping Turtle lives in the southern Mississippi River valley. Poison Dart Frogs live in South and Central America. Lionfish swim in the tropical western Pacific.

Costs
        If someone is stung or bitten by one of these creatures, it costs $2,000 for anti-venin. A vial of anti-venin for a Stone Fish bite is $450 — and five vials are required.

[alligator snapping turtle] Alligator snapping turtle
What fish eat
        Alligator Snapping Turtles eat fish, frogs, snakes, turtles, snails, worms, clams, crayfish and plants. Electric Eels eat fish, worms and insect larvae. A Cuttlefish will eat any shrimp, crab or fish smaller than it is. Piranhas will eat any kind of fish or meat. Stonefishes dine on shrimp and other small fish.

How big do they get?
        Alligator Snapping Turtles grow to 26 inches. Electric Eels can reach 71/2 feet. The maximum length of a Cuttlefish is 8 inches while a Red Bellied Piranha can grow to 1 foot. A Stonefish's length tops out at 14 inches.

What you won't see
        The electric eels are among the aquarium's most difficult animals to care for. Because they are lethally charged, keepers must wear thick rubber gloves. They also are escape artists. Before being moved to their permanent home, their holding tanks had to be wired shut and weighted down with bricks so the powerful eels could not push their way free.

        The aquarium has made special arrangements with University Hospital to handle the unlikely event of an accident with any of the animals in Deadly & Dangerous. The hospital will keep special anti-venin on hand.

[poison dart frog] Poison dart frog
Exhibit by the numbers
        600 volts released by a large Electric Eel.

        2-inch Poison Frogs are deadly.

        16 men hold the giant Oarfish in the picture.

        11 tanks in the display.

        2 hours is how long an Australian man lived after being stung by a Stonefish.

Stars of the Tank
        Electric Eel: A large Electric Eel's shock releases 600 volts, enough to kill a horse with repeated blasts. A thick layer of fat protects the eel from shocking itself.

        Alligator Snapping Turtle: A double-ended movable process in the Alligator Snapping Turtle's mouth works like a fishing lure to attract prey in the turtle's mouth.

        Cuttlefish: The Cuttlefish is anything but cuddly. With eight arms surrounding its mouth, it resembles an octopus. Two long arms extend quickly to snatch unsuspecting prey for the fish to eat. The Cuttlefish can also duplicate elaborate patterns to blend in with surroundings while hiding or hunting.

        Lionfish: The Lionfish is named for the series of fins around its body that look like a mane. The fins release a deadly poison and sweep small prey into tight corners for eating.

        Poison Dart Frog: Two micrograms of poison secreted from certain brightly colored Poison Dart Frogs can kill a human. Indians in South and Central America dip hunting darts in these poisons.



The Tristate is Goin' Fishin'
Going to the Aquarium
Murals bring seascapes to life
Music sets the mood for 16 exhibits
Shop, eat and watch a movie
The making of an aquarium
World Rivers
Shore Gallery
Touch Pool
Bizarre & Beautiful
- Dangerous & Deadly
Riverbank
'Gator Bayou
Amazon Rain Forest
Coral Reef
Jellyfish Gallery
Kingdom of Penguins
Ray Nursery
Repopulation
Surrounded by Sharks
Meet the staff and keepers

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