Virginia Aquarium Blog

A Seal of Approval for Virginia’s Coastline Visitors

Posted by in Conservation, Seals, Stranding Response

Over the years, more and more seals are hauling out on Virginia’s shorelines, piers, jetties and rock islands. In fact, the Virginia Aquarium Stranding Response Program receives an average of 23 live seal sightings per year, each sighting often generating multiple calls. We have documented four different species of seals in and around Virginia including harbor seals, harp seals, gray seals and hooded seals. Initially, most sightings involved young animals measuring only 3-4 ft. in length and weighing about 30-40 lbs. However these days we are receiving more and more…read more

The Nature of Hatchlings

Posted by in Conservation, Sea turtles

By Beth Firchau, Curator of Fishes Sea turtle mothers lay their eggs in very close proximity to the beach where they emerged as hatchlings. Mothers may attempt to nest several times in a breeding season, instinct guiding them to find the exact right spot to create a nest. There is not parental care for seas turtles and Mother Nature isn’t always a great foster parent to the developing turtles in the nest. Many things can affect the fitness of hatchlings that eventually emerge from any nest. Nests placed too high…read more

Giving Back to a Regional Stranding Network

Posted by in Conservation, Research, Sea turtles, Stranding Response

By Susan Barco, Research Coordinator and Senior Scientist Every year some sea turtles that spend their summer in Cape Cod Bay stay too long and get cold-stunned. Cold-stunning occurs when the body temperature of cold-blooded sea turtles falls below 55 ⁰F causing them to go into a coma-like state. A ‘normal’ cold stun season in New England results in 80-100 live turtles that need care. The record prior to this year was around 250 live turtles. This year, there were more than 250 in one week in November and the…read more

Arrival of the Hatchlings

Posted by in Birth Announcements, Conservation, New Arrivals, Sea turtles

By Senior Aquarists Julie Levans and Lori Semple, aka Team Hatchling Have you ever wondered where the loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings that are located in the Virginia Aquarium’s Sea Turtle Nursery come from and how they are cared for? And more importantly, why are they there and where do they go?  The Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center is proud of its long standing partnerships with the Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge and other aquariums along the East Coast. Since 1996 they have collectively provided 60 sea turtle hatchlings for…read more