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October Family Fun at the Tennessee Aquarium

10/1/2012 2:45:06 PM

There's a lot of family fun at the Tennessee Aquarium during the month of October. Parents can save $5 on Aquarium admission when they mention "Fall Break" at the ticketing center.

Costumed SCUBA divers with a jack-o-lantern at the Tennessee Aquarium



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          Contact: Thom Benson 423-785-3007


October Fun at the Tennessee Aquarium – Thrills, Gills & Chills
Butterflies 3D New at IMAX, Fall Color Cruises & Special Discount for Kids




Chattanooga, Tenn. (October 1, 2012) – Somewhere within the waters of the Tennessee Aquarium’s new River Giants exhibit lurks a catfish with a man-eating reputation. The wallago has a mouth full of teeth, eel-like body and the face of a bulldog. “It’s one of my favorites,” said curator of fishes Thom Demas. “They look like they’re grinning like the evil creatures in the movie Gremlins.”

Wallago catfish in the River Giants exhibit.

In Southeast Asia, wallago are known as voracious predators that reach lengths of eight feet in the wild. They will consume fish, frogs and even small mammals. There have even been reports of finding human remains in their stomachs! Because their bite could be dangerous, Aquarium guests will see divers feeding these “Monster Fish” with three-foot-long tongs.


Wallago are just one of the thousands of creepy and cool creatures waiting to greet guests during “Thrills, Gills and Chills.” Throughout October, specially themed keeper talks, costumed SCUBA divers and animal encounters add a touch of spine-tingling fun to the daily programs.


In Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari, visitors might see the emperor scorpion, one of the largest in the world, or nocturnal creatures like a flying squirrel or wide-eyed owls. “One of our Creatures of the Night programs features the Eurasian eagle owl and hedgehog,” said senior educator Susie Grant. “We’ll highlight the relationships of predator and prey and the adaptations that each has to help them find food or avoid being eaten. Many people don’t realize that the giant eagle owl is one of the hedgehog’s main predators.”


As a special treat the Aquarium is offering $5.00 off of a child’s admission during October when visitors mention, “Fall Break” at the ticketing center. (This discount may not be combined with any other offer.)


North American river otters at the Tennessee Aquarium
Thrills, Gills & Chills - Special Program Schedule for October:


FREE with Aquarium admission


10:15 AM – The Tooth About Piranhas
River Journey, Keeper Talk in Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari


10:30 AM – Pumpkins & Penguins 
Ocean Journey, Keeper talk in Penguins’ Rock


10:45 AM – Creatures of the Night
River Journey, Stage Program in Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari


11 AM - Scaredy Cat-Fish
River Journey, Costumed divers in Nickajack Lake or River Giants


11 & 11:30 AM – Bite Fright Dive Show
Ocean Journey, Secret Reef


11 AM, 12:30 PM & 12:45 PM – Close-Up with Creatures
River Journey, Stage Program in Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari


1:30 PM – Jaws & Claws
Ocean Journey, Animal feedings in Boneless Beauties


1:30 PM – Treat Time for Otters
River Journey, Otter Program in Cove Forest


1:45 PM – Pumpkins & Penguins 
Ocean Journey, Keeper talk in Penguins’ Rock


2:00 & 2:15 PM – Close-Up with Creatures
River Journey, Stage Program in Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari


2:00 & 2:30 PM– Bite Fright Dive Show
Ocean Journey, Secret Reef


2:00 PM – Divers Delight
River Journey, Divers in River Giants or Nickajack Lake


The Aqua-Scarium Family Halloween Party is Friday, October 26th from 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Come in costume with your favorite treat bag and celebrate a safe, but spirited, Halloween with the Aquarium’s creatures. Trick or treat your way through the River Journey building and win treasures as you play fun games. Do the Monster Mash with Aquarium mascots in their own Halloween costumes. Pre-register for this event online at: https://community.tnaqua.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=671


Flight of the Butterflies 3D soars onto the giant screen at the Tennessee Aquarium IMAX Theater on Friday, October 5th. This film takes viewers from Canada to Mexico to witness the most incredible migration on Earth – the 1,200 mile journey of monarch butterflies. Audiences will be amazed to see a forest of orange butterflies that will appear to fill the theater. The monarchs are so thick in this mountain refuge that the sound of their fluttering wings was actually captured along with stunning closeups of these beautiful butterflies. To view showtimes or purchase tickets online go to: http://www.tnaqua.org/IMAX.aspx


Fall fun continues aboard the River Gorge Explorer. Crystal clear blue skies are often the rule in October and early November, setting the perfect stage for viewing fall color in the Tennessee River Gorge. The carpet of color begins at the crest of the mountains and cascades down slope toward the water’s edge as the season progresses. Peak viewing usually occurs between October 15th and November 7th. That’s when the combination of warm, sunny days and cool, crisp autumn nights produce the vibrant reds, oranges and yellows seen in “Tennessee’s Grand Canyon.” An Aquarium naturalist points out wildlife like bald eagles, ospreys, turkey and deer along the way. Check the daily cruise schedule or reserve seating online at: http://tnaqua.org/RiverGorgeExplorer/BoatSchedule.aspx


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