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Virginia Fishes

Virginia FishesAs the Virginia Living Museum's Aquarium Curator, Chris Crippen manages the indoor aquatic habitats and aquatic program animals representing over 15o species of indigenous fish and invertebrates living in habitat aquariums ranging from 30 to 30,000 gallons. His passion for Virginia Fishes is shared here. View Original Blog

Loggerhead Sea Turtles

As part of a collaboration with North Carolina Aquariums, the VLM raises juvenile loggerhead sea turtles that have been collected as hatchlings, until the turtles are ready for release. Their state-wide conservation program (http://www.ncaquariums.com/conservationresearch/sea-turtle-conservation) helps many sea turtles yearly and is an excellent educational tool…

Calico Box Crab

Calico Box Crab (Hepatus epheliticus) Molting: We maintain a large collection of crustaceans and at least one of them molts each week. Usually it’s a blue crab (http://www.chesapeakebay.net/blue_crab.htm) as we have many of them, but sometimes it’s something less common such as the lobster; it…

Lemon Sharks

Deciding when (and if) to introduce new animals to an exhibit is critical to their long-term success and the success of their tankmates. Animals that get large and may be dangerous to staff or other animals take considerably more consideration. I recently acquired two lemon…

Jelly collecting

Culturing jellies for public display is labor intensive and time-consuming. Most aquariums display jellies and many public facilities have a full-time staff just for this purpose. As I write this, two staff members are out to collect jellies; not the species we usually cultivate and display…

Diving In

As a lifelong fish enthusiast, I will use this space to share what fascinates me about fishes, with an emphasis on topics relating to saltwater and freshwater (and those in between) fish species in Virginia and the Mid-Atlantic region. I hope to be an informal educational resource for those…