Moody Gardens is Experiencing a Baby Boom in the Animal Kingdom!
Our Rainforest Pyramid staff recently welcomed three Rodrigues fruit bats, two of which can already be seen in the Upper Canopy of the exhibit. Rodrigues fruit bats are a critically endangered species found on Rodrigues Island off the coast of Madagascar. They belong to a group of fruit bats knows as flying foxes.
We also have the pleasure of welcoming a baby porcupine known as a porcupette that was born around four weeks ago. Prehensile tail porcupines or tree porcupines inhabit tropical forests in South America. Female porcupines give birth to a single porcupette after six months gestation.
Last but certainly not least, a new leaf tailed gecko joined the Rainforest Pyramid family yesterday! Leaf tail geckos or Uroplatus are native to Madagascar. Their large eyes are a clue to the fact that they are nocturnal. As their name indicates, their tails look like leaves and foliage, which aids in their camouflage abilities. These large geckos are insect eaters.
The Rodrigues fruit bats, prehensile tail porcupine and leaf tail geckos are all part of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) Species Survival Plan breeding programs. Everyone at Moody Gardens is excited to announce our contributions to the success of conserving these animals.
Stay tuned for updates on these adorable newbies and a set of pygmy slow loris twins that are expected to arrive very soon!
Surfs up dudes! Yes that’s right, this blog is in dedication of our lovely aquatic friend, the Sea Turtle. With the recent celebration of National Sea Turtle Day, World Ocean’s Day in June and the birthday of Mr. Archie Carr who was the founder of sea turtle conservation in the Caribbean. This serves as an opportunity to focus on the importance of these beautiful shelled creatures and their conservation as they are an endangered species. Below are some interesting facts that we’d like to share!
There are 7 species of Sea Turtles
Diet is highly variable across the species (in addition to age) and can include algae, jellyfish, seaweed, crabs, shrimp and sponges and is highly variable across the species in addition to age.
Sea Turtles nest in the same place that they were hatched. Their incubation period is about 6-8 weeks.
They spend their entire lives in the water except to lay eggs. After laying an average of 100 ping-pong ball sized eggs, female turtles cover the nest with sand and return to the sea.
Breeding season is March – October depending on the species
Sea turtles usually surface every 20 minutes to breathe.
Visit Chloe: Our Rehab Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtle
Be sure to visit the Moody Gardens Aquarium Pyramid to catch a glimpse of Chloe, our Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle in the Aquarium Pyramid South Pacific exhibit. She was hit by a boat propeller which cracked her shell and paralyzed her rear flippers, rendering her unable to survive and reproduce in the wild, and therefore not qualified for release. She was transferred from the Houston Zoo to Moody Gardens in a tank large enough for her to swim and live comfortably. She has lived at Moody Gardens for over nine years. The nature of her injury causes her rear end to float upward. She likes to nestle beneath the rocks and coral to sleep. Guests are often concerned that she is in peril, however she just prefers this position to rest. With 1.5 million gallons of water and more than 10,000 marine animals, the Aquarium Pyramid showcases the unique beauty of the North Pacific, South Pacific, South Atlantic and Caribbean regions.
Birthday parties are great fun, but planning the party can sometimes be a challenge. This year is the start of something new here at Moody Gardens and we would like you to be a part! Let the Moody Gardens Education department plan your next party! You choose the date and the guest list and our party pros will handle everything else from the cake, party favors or even an animal encounter to make your child’s birthday party truly unique and memorable. We even have two new package additions to an already extensive list or party theme options.
Journey through the various rainforests across the world in the Rainforest Pyramid or soak up some rays this summer at Palm Beach. You can enjoy all this and more as each package comes with its own cool theme. Savor your special day with friends at the Learning Place with themed decorations, party favors, games, delicious punch and let’s not forget…CAKE!
Don’t let this opportunity pass you by, make your reservation today!
For package information and pricing please visit our website.
Although it’s hard to believe that Christmas is only six months away, holiday preparations at Moody Gardens are already underway! Prepare for a spectacular holiday season as we begin with revealing this year’s brand-new theme for 2016, ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures, Caribbean Christmas!
In honor of ICE LAND’s new Caribbean theme, the Aquarium Pyramid’s Caribbean Exhibit has taken on a holiday theme for the entire month of July.
See Santa dive in the Aquarium Pyramid’s Caribbean Exhibit daily at 2pm
Enjoy a Caribbean Christmas Light Show continuously in the aquarium’s Ocean View Room.
ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures, A Caribbean Christmas November 12, 2016– January 8, 2017
New – Ice Carver VIP Experience Your exclusive behind-the-scenes opportunity to see the artists at work as they create these magnificent, towering ice sculptures.
New – Shiver’s Ice Bar featuring ultra-cool holiday spirits
Moody Gardens takes the holidays to a whole new level of cool! A skilled team of master ice carvers has charted your course for the ultimate Caribbean Christmas! Embark on an amazing undersea journey made of 2 million pounds of ice!
Imagine a towering oil rig ice slide takes you to the breathtaking Flower Garden Banks and the Gulf Mexico as you encounter spectacular schools of beautiful tropical fish, eagle rays, turtles, Hammerhead sharks and more on your way to your island destination!
With numerous attractions to offer this holiday season, 2016 will be the best year yet! Stay tuned in to our Facebook and Twitter as we will begin announcing all of the various events, attractions and activities. Happy Holidays from our Moody Gardens family to yours!
Shark Week originated 28 years ago as a week-long event that focused on shark based programming on the Discovery Channel. Now, however, Shark Week has evolved into so much more! Here at Moody Gardens we are busy planning special events and talks that focus on some of the most enthralling creatures of the ocean.
Every day during Shark U Week, you can enjoy shark arts and crafts, Shark Talks with our shark experts, shark and ocean-themed movies and more. You can even participate in our Scavenger Hunt for a chance to win a Moody Gardens Family Getaway with 4 tickets to all of our attractions, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Caribbean Exhibit Wet Deck and an overnight stay Moody Gardens Hotel!
Daily from June 26 through July 2 there will be an 11:00 a.m. sting ray feeding at the South Pacific Exhibit, a shark feeding at the Caribbean Exhibit at 1:30 p.m., and at 2:00 p.m. there will be a Keeper Shark Talk in the Ocean View Room. If you cannot make it to property for one of our in-person chats there will be virtual Shark Talks on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday live via the Moody Gardens Facebook page. Through the Facebook Live event, you can hang out with our shark experts as they chat about a variety of shark topics or you can have your questions answered in person at Aquarium Pyramid. Use #MGSharkTalk to join via Twitter & Facebook.
Continue the interactive learning sessions with our See-Food Activity where you can look at the silhouettes of people compared to a shark’s food chain. Most shark attacks are a case of mistaken identity. During their attack, the victim is mistaken for prey. From a shark’s point of view, a surfer or swimmer can look quite similar to a turtle or seal. Stop by our Aquarium Pyramid to find out how easy it is for a shark to mistake a human for its prey.
Throughout the week be on the lookout for the MG Shark Spots around the Moody Gardens property. Take a picture at each location that is marked by a fin and upload your pictures to Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtag #MGSharkQuest to be entered for a chance to win a Moody Gardens Family Getaway with 4 tickets to all of our attractions, a behind-the-scenes tour of the Caribbean Exhibit Wet Deck and an overnight stay Moody Gardens Hotel!
You can buy tickets to start your own Shark Week adventures here!
If you have been to our MG 3D Theater at Moody Gardens you would probably agree that it is pretty impressive for a number of reasons. Not only was it the first 3D Theater in North America, but is the biggest screen in Texas and just a little over a year ago was introduced as the world’s first 4K 3D Giant Screen 6 Primary Laser Projection System. However, did you know that it is also extremely environmentally friendly?
Although our screen is 3x brighter than most traditional movie screens our system actually uses 88% less energy. The 1570 Projector system required 67.8 kilowatts an hour to run compared to just the 8.4 kilowatts required by the laser system.
The 1570 Projector relied on Xenon arc lamps, a special type of gas discharge lamps that are used in equipment like movie projectors and searchlights. Before we made the switch to our laser system we would have to replace the bulbs in the theater every month. The lifetime of the bulbs was between 300 and 800 hours. Now, instead of bulbs our system uses laser modules that have a lifetime of 20,000 to 50,000 hours. Not having to replace the bulbs means we have vastly cutting down on our waste and made our theater much more environmentally friendly.
From North to South, East to West, we are all connected by a vast body of water known as the ocean. This year’s theme for World Ocean’s Day is “Healthy Oceans, Healthy Planet,” and is celebrated on June 8th. This day is meant to celebrate the importance of the world’s oceans and how vital they are to the environment.
Groups and organizations across the country are participating in various activities to educate the public on ocean conservation and ways they can help keep the ocean healthy for future generations. Water is the source of life and is vital to mankind and animals worldwide. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our new film Wild Africa 3D as you are taken on water’s journey throughout the enchanted continent of Africa. Learn how life is created and sustained by water as you cascade along raging rivers or travel above the plains on the largest theater screen in the state of Texas.
In honor or World Ocean’s Day we would like to recognize some of our dedicated Moody Gardens divers that recently completed a week-long technical diving research cruise. During this time they explored mesophotic coral reefs over 100 miles off the Texas Coast in the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary and outlying coral banks. Members of the Voss Lab at FAU Harbor Branch and collaborators from Florida FWC leading the cruise aim to provide data that will help us better understand and protect coral ecosystems using a suite of molecular techniques. These studies are important for effective management strategies because these reefs are typically deeper than 30 meters, and are largely an unknown frontier that provides habitats to commercially important fish species and coral larvae for recovery of shallower reef areas. We have included the cool video link below for your viewing pleasure!
The dedicated curatorial staff here at Moody Gardens routinely does great things here on property, but they also do many great things out in the community as well. Recently, two of our Penguin and Seal Biologists, Hector and Allison visited the Pacific Marine Mammal Center (PMMC) in Laguna Beach, CA and volunteered to help the stranding center with the large amount of pinniped patients they have this spring. PMMC currently cares for four species of pinnipeds: over 100 California sea lions, a dozen elephant seals, two harbor seals, and two Northern fur seals. Officials have called the large number of strandings an unusual mortality event for California sea lions. It is also rare to see animals like Northern fur seals all the way down in Southern California.
In the week that the biologists were there, they helped with the various tasks the center performs every day from cleaning sinks and sorting fish to scrubbing, feeding, and shifting animals. Some patients were in large groups in large pens competing for fish to prove they were ready to survive on their own after release, and some were still getting individual care to learn how to eat and search for fish. Our biologists worked side by side with PMMC staff and volunteers and a biologist from Blank Park Zoo in Des Moines, IA.
On Sunday, May 22, Hector and Allison were able to join several other volunteers in a release of two of the animals they had helped care for. Commanche and Detour were released after several months of rehabilitation.
California sea lions and harbor seals pupping season is early summer. With this approaching, it is important to remember to give animals space on beaches. If in your travels you come upon an animal you think needs help, whether that’s a seabird here in Galveston or a marine mammal on another coast, please do not approach the animal and call a local stranding center for help.
A variety of unique adventures await your youngsters and teens as the 2016 Spring/Summer Pyramid Kid’s Camps kick off for the season! These interactive day camps give children the opportunity to become explorers and learn about wildlife and conservation at Moody Gardens.
For nearly 20 years, the Moody Gardens Education Department has continued to create interesting and engaging camps in which children are taught about the amazing worlds of oceans, rainforests and much more. Come and observe animal behavior from the various exhibits and participate in interactive stories, crafts and games.
Reservations are required at least two weeks in advance. For additional information or to register, please call 409-683-4325 or email email@example.com.
Call Wednesday and Pugsley as “Morticia,” the Giant Corpse Flower officially started to bloom this week. This is an extraordinary occurrence given that this is the second time for her to bloom. The first bloom was in June 2012! You now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see and smell this rare flower at the Moody Gardens Rainforest Pyramid. The blooming schedule for this plant is very unpredictable, which is why a second bloom from the same flower is an extraordinary feat! With a short blooming period of 2 to 4 days, don’t miss your chance to enjoy this unique experience. She is expected to be in Full Bloom within the next week.
The Corpse Flower was first discovered in 1878 by an Italian plant explorer Odoardo Beccari. Upon initial discovery, the plant struck fear into Beccari’s team due to the plant’s tremendous size and smell. It was believed to be a man-eating plant. Beccari took seeds back to the botanical gardens in Florence, Italy and later sent seedlings to The Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in London, England. The first recorded bloom of the Corpse Flower took place at Kew in 1889. Police had to be called in to control the crowds of people who came to see it.
The common name, Corpse Flower, originates from the unpleasant odor the plant emits during flowering. The strong smell and color are similar to rotting flesh, which attracts its pollinators, carrion beetles and sweat flies. It is considered the largest flowering plant in the world, often reaching heights of over 10 feet tall. Something that makes it so special is that not only is it rare in its native habitat, but also extremely rare in cultivation.
A mere 100 Corpse Flowers have bloomed in the United States since 1937 when the first bloom was recorded. The most recent was last month at the Chicago Botanical Garden in Illinois. Morticia’s bloom is only the fifth in the state of Texas. During Full Bloom, Moody Gardens Rainforest is offering extended hours until 10 p.m. for guests to experience this powerfully pungent and beautiful occurrence.