Animal Encounters

Fun Animal Encounters

From a hairy tarantula to a talking African gray parrot, you never know what you’ll bump into in Ranger Rick's Backyard Safari at the Tennessee Aquarium!

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Animal Keeper

Animal Keeper Updates

Get a peek behind the scenes of the Aquarium’s Husbandry department. Read their weekly animal updates and get an insider’s look at caring for over 10,000 animals and plants.

ANIMAL UPDATES
FISHES

Queen Trigger

Balistes vetula

ON EXHIBIT:  Gulf of Mexico and Secret Reef in both buildings

Queen Triggerfish

FUN FACTS

This fish is especially fond of sea urchins. When a queen triggerfish locates an urchin, it will use its teeth to gently bite down on one of the urchin's spines and lift it off the sea floor. The fish will then turn it so that the urchin falls back to the bottom on its spines, exposing its mouth. This area has no spines, and the triggerfish proceeds to attack this area. On some of the islands in the Caribbean, the locals will dry the triggerfish skin in the sun to use as sandpaper. 


CONSERVATION
Queen triggerfish are listed as vulnerable under the IUCN redlist, which means that their numbers could decline if habitat continues to degrade or they are overfished.


Fan Photo

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About This Animal

SIZE: 2 ft. (61 cm)

RANGE: Western Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico

HABITAT: Coral reefs

DIET:  Invertebrates


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