Discussion in 'Denmark' started by Toddy, 3 Dec 2009.
Do you know where from specifically?
The aquarium's website says (in google-translate English): "The Australian authorities have given the green light for export of [the sea snakes], because the Blue Planet provides marine hoses are available for sea snake research. Half of the sea snakes must live in an aquarium behind the scenes of the Blue Planet, and here scientists from home and abroad will have the opportunity to get close to them with a number of research projects in mind."
The exact origin of the snakes isn't stated.
Thanks MikeG, that's very interesting. As far as I am aware, there are no sea snakes on display in Australia, and they are fairly rare in Europe, with just a handful of collections holding them - notably the Berlin Aquarium. The ones the Blue Planet aquarium got appear to be the only ones of their species in Europe (according to Zootierliste).
Unless there are some in Asian aquariums I think the Reef HQ (Australia), AQWA (Australia) and Blue Planet are the only in the world with Aipysurus sea snakes on public display today. All have olive sea snake Aipysurus laevis. Melbourne had sea snakes a few years ago but I think the last species they kept was Lapemis not Aipysurus.
Laticauda sea kraits are kept relatively few places but are still the most common sea snakes in public aquaria around the world. True sea snakes are much rarer than sea kraits – at least in North America and Europe. I am not sure Berlin has the annulated sea snake Hydrophis (Leioselasma) cyanocincta listed on Zootierliste anymore. Perhaps it is off-show again with only Laticauda on display?
One of the world's leading authorities on sea snakes is Arne Redsted Rasmussen from Denmark. He is involved in research together with the Blue Planet
The Blue Planet has recieved three Sea Otters from Alaska.
Their names are Mojoe, Laura & Agnes and they will be on exhibit from friday 3rd October.
Just for the record: 1 male (Mojoe), 2 females. Rescued animals from Alaska. Tomorrow they will only be visible to members of the aquarium. They will be visible to the everybody from Sunday or Monday. They are in the exhibit that was intended for sea otters from the beginning but held sea lions for a period. The sea lions were sent to a French zoo earlier this year.
Other big news in the last few months:
Alligator snapping turtle has been reidentified as Macrochelys apalachicolae. Until a few months ago, all snapping turtles were included in a single species, Macrochelys temminckii.
Bloody good news - although it is unlikely, we can but hope this marks a relaxation of the strict US policy on not giving any individuals of the taxon to European collections.
Living Coasts has a custom-made sea otter enclosure being used for another taxon, for one thing.
A bit about it from their homepage. Google translate with modifications by me:
I do wonder how many unreleasable rescues are found per year in USA. In 2011, following a request by USFWS (which maintains ownership of U.S. sea otters), AZA officially adopted "no more captive breeding" to save their space for rescues. Unfortunately, the first long-term attempts suggest that the usual contraception (deslorelin) for this species may not always be reversible or take years longer than expected to stop working. I do not know if the Blue Planet sea otters are subjected to the "no captive breeding" rule.
To deny wild animals the capacity to reproduce I have great great difficulty with. Rescue centers and zoos per se should not be ad-mixed. I have no issue with a zoo with a rescue center for, but I do have issues with a zoo as a rescue only center and no breed … et cetera policy or option.
For what it is worth, I do not think for a moment it is helping the species at all in the wild ….
One of the newly arrived Sea Otters has died following a period of ill health since her transfer
Newly-arrived sea otter dies at aquarium - News - The Copenhagen Post
Does anyone know more about the blue-lipped sea krait (Laticauda laticaudata) that a friend of mine saw backstage almost exactly a year ago? Are they still around? Are they or have they been put on show (perhaps together with the olive sea snakes)?
2 ocellated eagle rays born. Apparently expected for a few months. The reason I'm calling them ocellated (A. ocellatus) and not spotted (A. narinari) is that they're all (incl. Burgers, Lost Chambers, etc) are from Indian Ocean. Consequently they're either ocellated or an underscribed species. It is similar to the manta ray species situation and there are people looking into it to establish it definitely.
Paradise threadfins on display. A small but unique-looking fish and the first time I've seen them outside Asia (zootierliste has them formerly in Berlin, but I must have missed those).
After recently flying out of the nearby airport I had the possibility of two visits only a few days apart. Just before I had downloaded the aquarium's app and wanted to test its accuracy. Basically, it includes an aquarium map with species lists and information for each aquarium. There's also a daily program. Most features work both when inside the aquarium and when not at the aquarium.
Overall I was pretty impressed by its accuracy and updates. For example, on my first visit one of the aquariums was empty and under reconstruction. This was finished on my visit a few days later and was already updated on the app with the new inhabitants. Similarly, I noticed additional inhabitants in two aquariums and when checking they had been added to the app. The taxonomy also seems to be pretty spot on in most cases, even the more complex ones: The arapaimas are listed as Arapaima sp. aff. gigas recognizing the fact that their specimens, of Peruvian origin, still are in a bit of a limbo in terms of exact species. Similar with the freshwater stingrays and eagle rays. The former are listed as Potamotrygon sp. "Itatuba" (an underscribed species) and the latter as Aetobatus ocellatus, recognizing that this is the current name for the Indian ocean population kept in European aquariums (it may be split further, but until then that's the name, not A. narinari). The only where I have my reservations is the wedgefishe listed as Rhynchobatus djiddensis. Following recent taxonomic reviews R. djiddensis is restricted to west Indian Ocean+Red Sea populations, leaving populations elsewhere as other species. If I remember right, the ones at Blue Planet are of Taiwanese origin; two species have been definitely documented there: the large R. australiae (I guess the one at Blue Planet?) and the smaller, up to c. 1.5 m, R. immaculatus. Otherwise the information for each species and aquarium ranges from basic to quite extensive; a few even have small videos.
A few aquariums are merged (e.g. the coral aquarium is actually four aquariums) and the outside lake isn't included (not a major issue as it's mainly a big koi pond). I also noticed a few species, mainly in the larger aquariums, that for some reason still aren't on it (mostly easy-to-ID species, but I'm still not sure about the precise identity of the pike cichlids, Crenicichla that have been at the aquarium since its opening). However, overall I was pretty impressed and the misses were few. I'm not aware of any other aquarium or zoos with a similarly complete app. The app is fairly large and updates regularly. It wasn't an issue on the newer phones with fast internet connections I've tried it on. I've seen online complaints that people couldn't always get the "scanning" feature to work, but neither I nor my nephew had problems.
Has now been identified as C. lugubris and the giant suckermouth catfish that has been in the same section for just as long (I knew it was Acanthicus adonis/hystrix, but wasn't sure which) is A. adonis. I'll update zootierliste later.
Several new species on show, but most interesting to me are definitely three freshwater: Brachyplatystoma capapretum (in same tank as the related B. rousseauxii), Lates mariae (in same tank as the related L. angustifrons) and Brochiloricaria chauliodon. As a long time aquarium fan I rarely see species I've never seen before, but those three were completely new to me.
Although some species might still be missing, the last few where I had noticed missing signs seem to have them now, e.g. Geophagus brasiliensis and Bagarius bagarius (both on exhibit since 2013).
Had a short visit before my flight out of Kastrup a few days ago and a bit of news on the freshwater front. It seems the aquarium has gone suckermouth catfish (family Loricariidae) wild and every other tropical freshwater tank now seems to have a member of this family as part of the "cleaner crew". I'm not complaining as I've always been a fan of catfish. Anyway, new catfish species on display since my previous visit about ½ a year ago, including a few I've never seen before:
Baryancistrus xanthellus (notice: Zootierliste has switched the photos; the current photo under that species is Scobinancistrus aureatus, but the two current photos under Scobinancistrus aureatus both are Baryancistrus xanthellus), Corydoras burgessi, Hypostomus latifrons, Hypostomus margaritifer, Hypostomus sp. "Iguazu" (an apparently undescribed species that hasn't even received an L-number; not H. myersi, another species that in the past was called "H. sp. Iguazu"), Leiarius marmoratus, Otocinclus mimulus, Panaque cf. cochliodon, Panaque cf. nigrolineatus, Panaqolus albivermis, Peckoltia braueri, Planiloricaria cryptodon, Pseudohemiodon apithanos, Pseudohemiodon laticeps, Pterosturisoma microps, Pterygoplichthys anisitsi, Rhinelepis strigosa, Spatuloricaria sp. "Rio Nanay" and Spectracanthicus sp. L030.
Other interesting new freshwater species I noticed were bluefin killifish, Biotoecus opercularis, Sewellia monolobata, Hypoclinemus mentalis, rainbow shiner, Sierra Leone dwarf characin, Lepidiolamprologus kendalli, Gnathochromis permaxillaris, Tropheus moorii (Ikola variant), Tropheus sp. "Black" (Bemba variant), saddle cichlid (they're not keeping speckled pavon anymore), Synaptolaemus latofasciatus, Microphis lineatus, Microphis brachyurus (the Indonesia population, as the species may be split in the future), metallic livebearer, Limia sp. "Tiger", Guayas cichlid, Asian arowana, black arowana, smallscale archerfish (allowing direct comparison with the similar banded archerfish in the same aquarium), and the mata-mata turtle is back on display.
The two Lates (mentioned in my previous post) were moved off-show about a week ago. Not sure why, but the new ornate and saddled bichirs in the tank might be the reason. I only spoke to a keeper briefly about this so the details may be lacking, but it seems the Russian sturgeon, common carp and grass carp now are in the large outdoor pond. The size of the pond means that you would need a lot of luck to see anything but koi in it.
Because of the time I had available I focused on tropical freshwater, but largely ignored cold freshwater and saltwater. I'm guess there have been changes in those sections there, too.
On an entirely separate matter the Greenland shark field work they've been involved with together with several universities and research institutes has been published: Based on rather uncertain evidence it's long been known that Greenland sharks could grow very old, but we now know they can reach a remarkable 392 ± 120 years (i.e. at very least 272 years)!
Full Science article here: Eye lens radiocarbon reveals centuries of longevity in the Greenland shark (Somniosus microcephalus)
I visited Den Bla Planet on Saturday.
Adjacent to the airport, it was easy to pay a visit on arrival. Bus is the easiest form of public transport, its just one stop on the 5A service. There are lockers in the aquarium cloakroom big enough for a medium sized suitcase. The 5A takes you onwards to the city centre afterwards.
First impressions – its undoubtedly an impressive building, although inside doesn’t quite deliver on the expectations set by the impressive exterior. The layout seems to leave lots of wasted space somehow. And it was busy! I didn’t expect it to be quite so busy on a chilly mid-January Saturday afternoon.
But, there are some interesting things to see. Not least the Sea Otters. I arrived shortly after 2pm, which meant I missed most of the Sea Otter presentation which had started at 2. They were very active though, and had I been there early enough to get a front row position and get my lens up to the glass the photography would have been excellent. I got some shots once the crowds had dispersed, one of the otters in particular played for quite some time in an ice bath. One of those animals that turns out to be much bigger than you expect. The enclosure is a little barren but seemed adequate enough.
Elsewhere, the tankbusters and piranha shoal in the tropical area were impressive, as was the Faroe Islands mixed fish and sea bird exhibit – although a little small.
Light was low in most exhibits, the photograph yield was low, but it was an interesting enough hour and a half and for the Sea Otters alone, I’m pleased I went.
There are handful of shots in the gallery.
Freshwater stingray breeding at Bla Planet :
In Nov. the Potamotrygon albimaculata had some pups.
Now 4 Leopold freshwater stingrays ( Potamotrygon leopoldi ) were born - a first breeding for Bla Planet.
Philippine crocodile on show since last month.
However, the two new species I find most interesting are whitespotted bullhead shark and Orthosternarchus (tamandu) knifefish. The former is a small deeper-water shark where much of its range is in pirate-country off the African Horn. The latter is a strange non-pigmented (pinkish!) and tiny-eyed electric fish found in deep waters of the Amazon. Both species are in all probability much more common than currently recognized, but their ranges and habitats make precise surveys difficult and they are virtually unknown in life. The shark is likely not kept anywhere else in the world and the knifefish is likely not on public display anywhere else in the world (a tiny number entered the private aquarium market a few years ago, but I don't know if any of these are still around). Several other new species on show and others moved offshow.
Separate names with a comma.