2014 Moody Madness

CLICK to download the 2014 Moody Madness Bracket
CLICK to download the 2014 Moody Madness Bracket

Our animals at Moody Gardens are big sports fans. No, really!

Over the years, we’ve had our seals, Saki Monkeys and Komodo Dragons pick the Super Bowl winners. We also have penguins named after sports stars like Biggio and Watt.

So with the NCAA Basketball tournament this week, our animals decided to have a friendly competition to find out which is the most popular.

The bracket features 16 Rainforest Pyramid and 16 Aquarium Pyramid residents. During the next three weeks, you will be able to vote for who you want to advance to the next round. In the end, one Rainforest Pyramid and one Aquarium Pyramid animal will square off to see which is the most popular at Moody Gardens.

Be sure to vote for your favorite animals at Moody Gardens!

VOTING SCHEDULE:

  • First round – March 19-24
  • Sweet Sixteen – March 25-27
  • Elite Eight  March 28-31
  • Final Four – April 1-April 3
  • Championship – April 4-7

CLICK HERE to vote or vote below for the Rainforest Pyramid animals and make sure to click Next when you’re done at the bottom to vote for the Aquarium Pyramid animals on the second page.

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Pyramids of Love: Rainforest (Part 2)

Join us this week as we take a closer look at the Pyramids of Love at Moody Gardens! Learn about the intricate relationships and courtships that take place in the animal kingdom throughout the week on our blog and look for our trivia questions on Facebook & Twitter for chance to win Aquarium and Rainforest tickets. Make sure to stop by February 14-16 for Valentine’s Day themed animal enrichment and presentations at the Aquarium and Rainforest Pyramids.

LOVE KNOWS NO BOUNDARIES

There’s plenty of love to discover within the Rainforest Pyramid! Here’s a look at the relationships between some of our most popular animals:

 

IMG_3343Prehensile-tailed Porcupine

Letting a love interest know how you REALLY feel about her

It’s not every day that female porcupines are interested in mating. It’s estimated the time is only 8-12 hours a year! That gives little time to make a great first impression. So what does the male do? The most bizarre thing imaginable; he soaks her with urine. If the female doesn’t enjoy this unusual advancement, she’ll just give a shriek of disgust and shake off the urine.

 

IMG_6670Mandarin Ducks

Vanity isn’t everything

The males have a striking ‘nuptial’ plumage, making it easy to distinguish them from the females…however, it doesn’t last long.  Once the breeding season is over, it’s off with the “suit and tie” and the males will enter the ‘eclipse plumage’ phase where they look just like the female.  But while they are all dressed to impressed, they also have to “walk the talk”! These males must perform to their female love interest, not just a dance, but cold calculated courtship display! The males time their moves just right by bowing and vocalizing to suit the females’ choosiness.  With the male’s superb looks and artistic dance, he’s sure to ruffle her feathers, in a good way of course.

 

cOcelots

A mother’s love is so strong

Who said that being a single parent is easy? Female ocelots raise their young on their own for two years. Since ocelots typically only breed every other year and usually produce only one kitten, you know you have to really have love for your young. During this time, the cub is learning what mom does best: hunting, eating, and how to stay alive. A mother’s love is always the best solution.

 

blue macawsMacaws

A painting worth a 1,000 words

How colorful can you get? Most birds use their keen eyesight to distinguish a good mate. Macaws are distinctly, colorful and beautiful.  The vibrancy of their plumage can help a bird looking for love to determine the overall fitness and health of a potential mate.  Hue said looks don’t matter?

 

Blue_Duiker_1 high resBlue Duiker

Love Patrol

Have you ever met a couple that does everything together? Well when duikers mate and form a bonded pair that’s exactly what happens. These tiny deer tend to eat, sleep, raise young and mark territories together. That’s right! Both males and females in a bonded pair will walk around their territory and scent mark.  No, “mine or yours” in this relationship, it’s all ours!

 

cotton top tamarins pairCotton-Top Tamarin 

A loving mother and father, and uncle, and aunt, and neighbor, and that guy that lives down the road, and mom’s sister’s best friend from high school….

Have you ever had a friend of the family that tells you all sorts of stories about you being young and how cute you were when you were a baby? Cotton-top tamarins do. This species of tamarins cooperatively breed, which means that the dominate breeding pair have offspring that are tended to be all members of the group. Doesn’t matter if you’re the older sibling, or an aunt/uncle, they all help raise the young like their own.  It is believed that this behavior helps offspring to survive to adulthood. Those who are not dominate at the time will receive the same treatment when they’re next in line.  Time for cheek squeezing!!

 

IMG_6643Scarlet ibis

Hi, this is my mother, my father, and their own body guard

Scarlet ibis nest just like any other birds. They build a nest out of twigs and raise young in it, except one little twist. Just a few feet away from the nest is another scarlet ibis who’s watching out for predators.  This is called colonial nesting.  Many individuals may mate and build nests, but everyone has security duty and will rotate (even laying on nests) to be guards. Each sentinel has a duty to alert the rest of the group of when predators are spotted.    Think of it as a couple’s own personal secret service. It’s a loving job.

 

Arapaima

A father’s love has no boundaries, well maybe one

Arapaimas are mouth brooders meaning that they keep eggs and small fry in their mouths. This helps keep predators from eating them, while also making sure the young are all in one place at a time.  The mother isn’t missing from this equation though. She’s protecting the male by continuously being by his side and circling around him and the young when predators are present.  Although this is a very odd way to house your young, many fish do it. For instance, several species of cichlid fish use this same parenting strategy.

Gaboon Viper

Fighting for Love

Sometimes things can’t be settled by looks, by food, or by dances. Sometimes it’s an all out battle for the female. When two gaboon viper males meet during mating season, they have to make sure that they are the only one in that area able to breed with females. So they get into a match of endurance.  They will stand as tall as they can and face each other, each one trying to push the other male down, squeezing him, and trying to tire him out. All in trying to prove to the other male with brute strength that he is the dominate one.

IMG_0107Giant River Otters

Big brother and big sister love

Those of us who have brothers and sisters all know how hard they can be on us from time to time. Although in the end, they still love us no matter what. If you take a look at the Giant River Otters and look closely at their groups out in the wild, you’ll realize they are mostly made up of the same family group. The mother and father will give birth to offspring that stay with the family group, even after maturity.  These older offspring stay on in the family for hunting, security, and most importantly to help raise the next set of kids.

 

The Ibis Dream

IMG_5413

Let’s give a shout out to the newest addition of our Scarlet Ibis family. Hatched on June 30, this adorable little fuzzball has been one of many Scarlet Ibis hatched in the Moody Gardens’ Rainforest Pyramid.

Weighing in at 100 grams and standing several inches tall, this little cutie has dreams of flying. Months from being ready, the overly ambitious chick attempted flight, but sadly fell from its nest just days after hatching. Luckily, no major injuries occurred and it is now in the care of Moody Gardens’ finest biologists, awaiting its next voyage.

IMG_5388This endearing and very vocal chick loves its gruel, which is a liquid diet made up of fish, shrimp, pellets, water and vitamins which is hand fed five times a day. Biologists are hoping to introduce him to whole fish this week.

The gender of this hatchling is unknown and cannot be determined until much later in its life. While off exhibit, a feather will be collected and sent for lab work to determine its gender. Its bright red plume will not be visible until roughly eight months.

Full-grown Scarlet Ibis
Full-grown Scarlet Ibis

This little one will be hand raised and sent to our on-site learning place where it will become an educational ambassador.

Don’t forget to check out our other free roaming birds in our Rainforest Pyramid.

Visit moodygardens.org for more information or click here for tickets.

Moody Gardens® is a public, non-profit educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation and research.

 

Earth Day Weekend Schedule & Savings

Discoverypyramid01

EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES:

Start your Earth Day in our Herb Garden with the Galveston County Master Gardeners, as they teach easy gardening tips on Texas butterfly gardens. Children can also enjoy plenty of activities including make-and-take recycled pots and other crafts.

  • 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Oleander Festival in the Visitor Center
  • 10:30 a.m. Seal Presentations at Aquarium Pyramid*
  • 11 a.m. Penguin Feedings at Aquarium Pyramid*
  • 11 a.m. Butterfly Release at Rainforest Pyramid*
  • 11 a.m. Free Master Gardener Presentations at Discovery Pyramid (Saturday only)
  • 11:30 a.m. Sky King Falconry Bird Presentation at Herb Garden (Saturday only)
  • 11:30 a.m. South Pacific Exhibit Dive at Aquarium Pyramid*
  • 12 p.m. – 3 p.m. Arts and Crafts by the Discovery Pyramid
  • 1 p.m. Ocelot Presentation at Rainforest Pyramid*
  • 1 p.m. Free Master Gardener Presentations at Discovery Pyramid
  • 1:30 p.m. Sky King Falconry Bird Presentation at Herb Garden (Saturday only)
  • 2 p.m. Caribbean Tank Dive at Aquarium Pyramid*
  • 2:15 p.m. Seal Presentations at Aquarium Pyramid*
  • 3 p.m. Penguin Feedings at Aquarium Pyramid*
  • 3 p.m. Butterfly Release at Rainforest Pyramid*
  • 3 p.m. Free Master Gardener Presentations at Discovery Pyramid
  • 3:00 p.m. Sky King Falconry Bird Presentation at Herb Garden (Saturday only)

*Pyramid admission not included

EARTH DAY WEEKEND SAVINGS

Save big this Earth Day weekend with our Special Combo Pass to the Aquarium and Rainforest Pyramids for just $24.95 ($43.90 value). Click here to purchase online (valid only April 20-21).

 

Moody Gardens® is a public, non-profit educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation and research.

 

Spring Break Keeper Presentations

Here at Moody Gardens we have an amazing  curatorial staff that take great care of our animals on a daily basis. There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes from feedings to training to medical care and much more! You can get a sneak peek into some of those interactions by checking out any of our Keeper Presentations during Spring Break. Just show up at the time listed in front of the corresponding exhibit and you’ll be able to see how our staff works directly with some of  our animals.

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DAILY SCHEDULE
(through March 16)

10:30 a.m. Aquarium Caribbean

10:30 a.m. Seal Exhibit

11:00 a.m. Penguin Exhibit

11:00 a.m. Otter Training

11:30 a.m. South Pacific

11:30 a.m. Butterfly Exhibit

1:00 p.m. Otter Training

1:30 p.m. Butterfly Exhibit

2:00 p.m. Aquarium Caribbean

2:00 p.m. Seal Exhibit

2:30 p.m. South Pacific

3:00 p.m. Penguin Exhibit

Senior Tuesdays at Moody Gardens

senior tuesdayMoody Gardens provides a fun and memorable experience for guests of all ages! From the playful penguins in the Aquarium Pyramid to the colorful creatures of the Rainforest Pyramid, there is something enjoyable for everyone.

 

Moody Gardens wants to encourage more seniors to come join us for a day of fun, which is why we have Senior Tuesday every week. Senior Tuesday gives guests over the age of 65 an opportunity to explore Moody Gardens at a discounted rate! On Tuesday, seniors only have to pay $5 to gain admission into each attraction.

 

Seniors can visit the Aquarium Pyramid and the Rainforest Pyramid for only ten bucks! That is nearly half the normal price for visiting just ONE of these amazing attractions.

 

If you live in a senior community and are looking for an exciting activity everyone can be a part of, Senior Tuesdays at Moody Gardens is your answer.

 

If you have a parent or grandparent over the age of 65, bringing them to Moody Gardens for Senior Tuesday is a great way to spend the day together creating memories, without having to break the bank.

 

You don’t have to order any tickets ahead of time or bring in a special coupon. We make it easy for you!  Simply show up to Moody Gardens on Tuesday and purchase your $5 ticket at the Moody Gardens Ticket Window! Restrictions may apply though, so if you have any questions or need more information don’t hesitate to call us at 800-582-4673.

 

If you decide to join us on any other day, senior prices are still discounted:

 

Aquarium Pyramid: Adult: $21.95, Child/Senior: $17.95

 

Rainforest Pyramid: Adult: $21.95, Child/Senior: $17.95

 

Discovery Museum: Adult: $9.95, Child/Senior: $7.95

 

4D Special FX Theater: Adult: $10.95, Child/Senior: $8.95

 

MG 3D Theater: Adult: $10.95, Child/Senior: $8.95

 

RideFilm Theater: Adult: $9.95, Child/Senior: $7.95

 

Colonel Paddlewheel Boat: Adult: $10.95, Child/Senior: $8.95

 

We look forward to seeing you on your next family weekend getaways in Texas. Moody Gardens is a premiere vacation destination in Texas, with the Moody Gardens Hotel being one of the best places to stay in Galveston.

 

Overnight Adventures with Moody Gardens

overnightThere is so much to see, learn, and participate in at Moody Gardens that it is impossible to fit it all into one trip! If your kids just can’t get enough of Moody Gardens, then Overnight Adventures is the solution! Whether you want to set up a Moody Gardens sleepover for friends or for a classroom, we would love to talk to you about the opportunity.

 

We offer two different overnight adventures. Depending on which adventure you choose, students will spend the night exploring either the Rainforest Pyramid or the Aquarium Pyramid.

 

Creatures of the Night

With the Creatures of the Night adventures, the kids explore how the rainforest comes alive once the sun goes down. Discover how the nocturnal creatures live by using all five of your senses to find your way through the Rainforest. The adventure includes tons of nighttime rainforest activities, including a tour of the Rainforest Pyramid. The sleepover takes place in the Rainforest Entrance.

 

Nights on the Reef

Have you always wandered what lives above and below the tropical oceans of the world, and what’s going on during the night? Come spend a night exploring and learning about coral reef inhabitants and how they adapt to their particular environment before getting a night’s rest in the aquarium.

 

Overnight Adventures run from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 a.m., and include a late-night pizza snack and a light breakfast. The price is $1,000 for up to 20 people, and $50 for each extra person. Chaperones are required.

 

Reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance. To make your reservation, or for more information, call 1-800-582-4673, ext. 4325, or email us at education@moodygardens.com.

 

For a Moody Gardens sleepover that includes the whole family, make your reservations at the Moody Gardens Hotel, one of the best places to stay in Galveston. We look forward to seeing you soon.

Learn More About the Animal Residents

At Moody Gardens, we have thousands of animal residents and a huge variety of different species! Keep reading to learn more about these exciting creatures from all over the world.

pygmy loris

Pygmy Loris: A Pygmy loris is a mammal that can be found in the rainforests and bamboo groves throughout Asia, including China, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. This wooly creature has a brown coat and grows to be up to ten inches long and weighs about two pounds. They are recognized by their large eyes and small ears. Pygmy lorises are nocturnal animals that feed on small invertebrates, eggs, small reptiles, fruits, and vegetation. They can easily climb trees because of their opposable thumbs and strong hands and feet. The Pygmy loris is a threatened species, but cooperative breeding and conservation by various organizations is helping to ensure their survival.

 

Gentoo Penguins: We have a special place in our heart for the penguin residents at Moody Gardens! The Gentoo penguin can be found on the sub-Antarctic islands and the Antarctic Peninsula. They are recognizable by their red eyes ringed in white feathers, with a white patch above each eye that extends over their head. Their black beak has a vibrant orange “swish” and they waddle around on orange feet. The Gentoo penguin is listed as a lower risk-near threatened species because of habitat destruction.

animals at mg

Ocelot: The ocelot is an endangered medium-sized wild cat with tawny fur and irregular dark brown spots and stripes. They come from arid and forested habitats all over the world, including many parts of Central and South America. Ocelots are terrific swimmers that hunt during the night feeding on small deer, rabbits, rodents, reptiles, birds, other small mammals, and sometimes they go fishing!

 

To learn more about the animals at Moody Gardens, come explore the Aquarium Pyramid and Rainforest Pyramid. Moody Gardens is the perfect destination for your next family weekend getaways in Texas.

 

Our Dedication to Saving the Rainforest

savingrainforest

The Rainforest Pyramid, which opened in 1993, is a ten-story glass pyramid that recently underwent a massive enhancement project to make it better for both visitors and its animal and plant residents. The Rainforest Pyramid has shared the wonders of the Asian, African, and American rainforests with millions of visitors. It has also brought attention to the dangers rainforests are facing and the endangered species that inhabit them.

 

The popular Moody Gardens attraction is a great entertainment destination, but it is also the center point of Moody Gardens rainforest conservation efforts. Over the years, Moody Gardens has shown its dedication to saving the rainforest in a variety of ways.

 

In the last decade, Moody Gardens purchased 2,215 acres of rainforest in Panama for protected reserves. We have also collected over $69,000 for research and conservation in Central and South America to help preserve the diminishing rainforests in those regions.

 

Moody Gardens contributed to purchasing land in Peru to help complete the ReNuPeru Ethno Botanical Garden at the Amazon Center for Environmental Education and Research.

 

Other funds from Moody Gardens have been donated to support the Belizean Ministry of Natural Resources as they try to save the Mountain Pine Ridge Forests area from the devastation caused by a massive Pine Beatle infestation. We also contributed to the Rainforest Foundation to help indigenous people preserve their land from being taken over.

 

Moody Gardens contributes to helping save the rainforest through our animal programs and our research efforts. We stand by our mission: “Moody Gardens is a public, non-profit educational destination utilizing nature in the advancement of rehabilitation, conservation, recreation, and research.”

 

To learn more about our rainforest conservation efforts, come visit our Rainforest Pyramid. You can make a trip out of your visit by staying with us at the Moody Gardens Hotel, one of the best places to stay in Galveston.