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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

Skate Exhibit up and running

A few months ago on a recreational trip to Oregon Inlet, North Carolina I noticed an unusually large amount of flotsam around the southern jetty. Always on the lookout for interesting exhibit props, I discovered wooden poles, formally from a pound net, that would make…

RAW 2011 – by Patrycja Lawryniuk

On Tuesday and Thursday of this week, my colleague Jessi Shupe and I attended the Regional Aquatics Workshop (RAW), hosted by the Virginia Aquarium in Virginia Beach, VA. At the workshop, we attended lecture sessions with different speakers from all over the world! On Tuesday,…

Sharks and Rays

Last Thursday prior to our weekly SCUBA program, we added our two male lemon sharks to the 30,000 gallon Chesapeake Bay tank.   Before moving the sharks, we had to first remove the southern stingray from the exhibit, as skates and rays are natural prey for many shark species. Our…

Are You Feeding?

Probably the most common question we get from the visitors as we work in or around the exhibits is, “Are you feeding?” People love to watch the animals eat so I think the question may be born from wishful thinking. We do have feedings for the public at 11am and…

Trip to Duke Marine Lab

Every spring, students from local Christopher Newport University make a trip to the Duke University Marine Lab in Beaufort, NC.  A couple of aquarium employees from the VLM accompany them on the trip to help with identification and to lend an extra hand to the chaperoning professor….

Lemon Shark update

One issue with introducing the lemon sharks is that the loggerhead is still somewhat passive competing for food, while the lemons are aggressive towards everything edible. The sharks are trained with tongs just as the turtle was (see pics below) , but the turtle has not yet…

Duke trip

I usually accompany a group of Christopher Newport University students from Dr. Mollick’s class http://www.cnu.edu/bces/profiles/mollick.asp to the Duke Marine Lab http://www.nicholas.duke.edu/marinelab/ this to assist in I.D’ing fishes and to help run the wet lab. But this year two of my staff members who formerly were students on the…

Skates and rays at the VLM

I am in the process of redecorating the interior of the Ray/Skate exhibit and will soon be replacing the southern stingray (Dasyatis americana) http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/gallery/descript/southernstingray/southernstingray.html that has outgrown the exhibit. Its tankmate was moved into our largest Chesapeake Bay Aquarium several weeks ago and is thriving. We…

Common Carp

The common carp (Cyprinus carpio) is an extremely interesting fish. They certainly are undervalued in the U.S. as people generally find them unpalatable. But they can be excellent sport, are one of the more intelligent fish species (in my experience) and can become very tame….

Native trout spawning

A juvenile rainbow trout in the Mountain Stream exhibit at the VLM: Each spring and fall our rainbow, brook and brown trout spawn on exhibit. The males develop a hooked jaw, or kype, with which he fights or drives off rival males with; they also…