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


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


- 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


- Staff and keepers
Oceanic Adventures Newport Aquarium] [Building image]
Breeding animals in captivity helps aquariums and zoos conserve, teach

        Aquariums (and zoos) face a quandary: Do they leave animals, especially those under a conservation watch, in the wild or collect and move them to controlled surroundings?

        Moving them depletes the wildlife, but in aquariums and zoos the animals teach people about vanishing natural habitats.

        Breeding animals in captivity is a win-win situation.

        The Stingrays in the Newport Aquarium, for example, were acquired from the National Aquarium in Baltimore, where there is a reproduction program.

        The Newport Aquarium intends to breed King Penguins, rays, Poison Dart Frogs, Pot-Belly Sea Horses and other animals inclined to mate, says Pam Lyons, aquatic curator.

        A special nursery has been set up for the penguins near the ray exhibit. King Penguins usually mate from September to November with chicks hatching in December. The aquarium has eight pairs of the birds.

        Poison Dart Frogs won't share the nursery — they will remain in Deadly & Dangerous.

        Pot Belly Sea Horses are prized for their shapes, and their skeletons often are sold as jewelry and souvenirs. These fragile creatures are under a conservation watch and will be bred in Newport.

        Even the live coral in Bizarre & Beautiful will be propagated on site.

        Penguin Chicks are found in the Southern Hemisphere only. They range from the southern tip of South America to Antarctica. Poison Dart Frogs are found in South American forests. Rays live all over the world. Pot-Belly Sea Horses are from Southern Australia and New Zealand.

What fish eat
        Baby Poison Dart Frogs feed on unfertilized eggs supplied by their parents. Penguin Chicks eat small fish and crustaceans obtained by grown penguins. Rays mine the bottom for tiny organisms. Pot-Belly Sea Horses eat a variety of small organisms.

How big do they get?
        Penguin Chicks start very small but grow quickly until they reach full size (up to 40 pounds and 3 feet tall). Baby Poison Dart Frogs are tiny as tadpoles, finally reaching 2 inches. Pot-Belly Sea Horses grow to 10 inches. Rays can be 2 feet.

What you won't see
        When the King Penguins begin mating, it is likely that the eggs will be incubated by staff members. This will require staff to rotate each egg every three hours for 64 days.

        When the Poison Dart Frogs are ready to breed, their keepers will place a couple in an enclosed area with plenty of foliage. This is not for privacy, but to make sure the frogs feel secure. Sometimes keepers will create a “breeding hut” out of the bottom of a cola bottle covered with leaves.

Exhibit by the numbers
        1.5 years is the frequency of births per King Penguin couple

        8 months for a penguin chick to go out on its own

        64 days incubation time for penguins

        30-40 pin-head crickets are eaten by Poison Dart Frogs during mating

        9-18 eggs are laid at one time by a Poison Dart Frog

Stars of the tank
        Pot-Belly Sea Horse: A male Pot-Belly Sea Horse gives birth to young after carrying the eggs in a stomach pouch. In the wild, the breeding season extends from February to October. Generally weak swimmers, sea horses tend to congregate near shore.

        Penguin Chicks: Penguin Chicks begin a two- to three-day hatching process by pecking a small hole in the egg's shell. They gradually push through the hole until they are ready to burst into the world. When young, a wooly outer coat protects the chicks from frigid temperatures. After about two weeks, the once-weak chicks are almost as big and strong as their parents.

        Poison Dart Frogs: Poison Dart Frogs lay 2-12 eggs several times during the tropical rainy season. The females lay the eggs on leaves or the ground and always near water. Males guard the eggs and keep them wet until they hatch in a couple of weeks. Now tadpoles, the offspring jump onto the father's back and he carries them to a small pool of water. The tadpoles live there for a few weeks until they are grown.

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
'Gator Bayou
Amazon Rain Forest
Coral Reef
Jellyfish Gallery
Kingdom of Penguins
Ray Nursery
- Repopulation
Surrounded by Sharks
Meet the staff and keepers

Copyright 1999 The Cincinnati Enquirer, a Gannett Co. Inc. newspaper.
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