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Tennessee Aquarium
Kathie Fulgham (423) 785-3007
ksf@tnaqua.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE     

                                           Contact:
                                                                                       Kathie Fulgham 423-785-3007
                                                                                        Aaron Jordan     423-785-3011

Pirates of the Tennessean set sail this weekend!
Discover the true treasures of the sea

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (July 28, 2006) – Ahoy, mateys! All aboard for a wave-crashing adventure when the Tennessee Aquarium uncovers mysterious treasures o' the sea, like the amazing creatures that inspired the movie “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.”

Capitalizing on the popularity of the blockbuster movie, the Aquarium is launching a promotion this weekend, July 28, through Sept. 19 – International Talk Like a Pirate Day – to showcase real sea “beasties” like the giant Pacific octopus, the giant Japanese spider crab and even the largest bird in the parrot family, the hyacinth macaw.

“What happens when you cross a giant octopus with a giant crab, then you add the magic of Disney?” asked Sharyl Crossley, who cares for both animals in the Boneless Beauties gallery at the Aquarium.  “Of course in the movie, the result is villain Flying Dutchman Captain Davy Jones with his fierce-some face and beard that are so memorable, and his crab claw arm and foot, which are equally menacing.”

“But it’s the ‘Kraken,’ that awesome sea monster that uses its tentacles as mast-wrappers, sailor-snatchers and hull-crushers that most movie-goers will remember,” said Crossley.  “Clearly the film’s creators were inspired by real sea creatures.  Our octopi are incredibly intelligent and adept feeders, but on a much smaller and less violent scale.”

“Parrots were such an integral part of pirate life and lore,” added Amy Graves, Aquarium senior educator. “Extraordinarily intelligent and social birds, they can be taught to speak and were considered great entertainment among crew members.  In a pinch, ship captains even used them as gifts or bribes.”

The Aquarium features the largest bird in the parrot family, and exhibits two beautiful hyacinth macaws, located in the Tropical Cove.  The macaw has the strongest beak of any bird in the world.

During “Pirates of the Tennessean,” Aquarium volunteers, educators and divers will highlight the beauty, diversity and behavior of several of the creatures in the galleries – especially during the narrated dives – but be ye ‘ware, a bit of the piratical will abound with pirate lore, a treasure map for children and even a prize at the end of the hunt for pirate booty.

The treasure map takes children on an adventure through both River Journey and Ocean Journey buildings to uncover some of the mysterious clues hidden around the Aquarium. Once they solve the puzzle, children can claim their treasure where “X” marks the spot.  The map is downloadable from the Aquarium’s Web site (www.tnaqua.org) or on site. Pirate jokes, fun facts, links to learn how to talk like a pirate and other piratical fun also can be accessed on the Aquarium’s Web site. 

Landlubbers who subscribe to the Aquarium’s e-newsletter can download a coupon good for $2 off each admission ticket; they’ll also be registered to win two Delta Air Lines tickets to anywhere in the continental United States.

So What’s a shark’s favorite game?  Swallow the leader and head over to the Tennessee Aquarium for some “Pirates of the Tennessean” fun!

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ONLINE DOWNLOADABLE  images: www.tnaqua.org/Newsroom/Photo_library.asp#Pirates

The Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the natural world. Admission is $17.95 per adult and $9.50 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $7.95 per adult and $5.50 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are $22.95 for adults and $13.50 for children. Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.tnaqua.org or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities. Members enjoy unlimited visits and other benefits. Call 267-FISH to join.

 

 
 
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