You’re in good hands my love.
It’s Valentine’s Day almost every day in the Mississippi
Delta and Tennessee River galleries. Here male freshwater
turtles do their best to impress the ladies with their courtship
Male red ear sliders and southern painted
turtles can be seen swimming in front of or above their female
counterparts. With long claws extended, they carefully yet
rapidly seem to fan their prospective mates in the face. It’s
as if the males are saying, “You’re in good hands
Blue or Pink?
If his waving catches her eye and the two turtles successfully
mate, the sex of the little ones depends on temperature. If
the nest is warmer, female turtles will hatch. Lower nest
temperatures mean more males will hatch.
Me and My Big Mouth
The cichlids in the Lake Nicaragua exhibit are having babies
all the time. The male and female get together over the gravel
nest site by making passes over it side by side. Later when
the eggs hatch, the male stands guard over the baby cichlids.
When one youngster starts venturing away from the group, the
male will go after it with his mouth and bring it back to
It Takes Two to Tango
Seahorses are one of the most popular animals at the Tennessee
Aquarium. Watching their courtship rituals might be one reason
When a seahorse chooses a mate the pair tends
to stay together constantly. They oftentimes will hold onto
each other’s tail and swim together, rest together and
even hunt for food together. The mating dance begins with
the male bowing his head to squish his pouch empty of water.
Next he’ll swim around the female flaunting himself.
This display involves filling his pouch with water to show
her how full it can be. If she’s impressed enough, the
pair will swim upward belly to belly as she releases her eggs
into his pouch. The male holds the eggs in his belly for 30
to 45 days until the baby seahorses are released.
There are 11 species of seahorses at the Tennessee
Aquarium and we have had babies from every species of seahorse.
Right now there are babies from 7 different species at the
Peril in the Wild
Recently scientists from the Institute of Zoology in London
have discovered that fertilization of common or yellow seahorse
eggs actually takes place outside the male’s pouch.
That means that these animals are more vulnerable to pollutants
in the water like mercury. That’s just one more threat
to these beautiful sea creatures.
Of the 33 species of seahorse, nine are listed
as vulnerable and one is classified as endangered. Too little
is known about the other species to know how devastating pollution
Show Your Love
There are many ways you can show your love for seahorses and
all of your freshwater fishy friends here at home.