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Family Fun - ODDtober at the Tennessee Aquarium

10/2/2013 9:52:14 AM

Celebrate the wonderfully weird side of nature during ODDtober at the Tennessee Aquarium. It's fall fun for the entire family.

There's plenty of family fun at the Tennessee Aquarium during ODDtober!


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


ODDtober – New Ways to Celebrate the Wonderfully Weird Side of Nature
Fall Fun at the Tennessee Aquarium


Chattanooga, Tenn. (October 1, 2013) – Most people are aware that an octopus can change the color and texture of their skin to blend in with its surroundings. But that’s only two things that make these animals rather unusual. “They have very large, donut-shaped brains that actually wrap around their esophagus,” said Thom Demas, the Aquarium’s curator of fishes. There’s a lot going on behind those squinty eyes.” Among their clever tricks – using their sensitive tentacles to figure out puzzles and squeezing their entire bodies into impossibly small openings. In a word, they’re odd. 


Tennessee Aquarium guests will be introduced to the wonderfully weird side of nature throughout the month of ODDtober. With two buildings filled with more than 10,000 animals, there are plenty of unusual adaptations and behaviors that will be featured this month. “This will be a great time for us to reveal some really freaky facts about the Aquarium’s animals,” said George Bartnik, education programs manager. “They might know that penguins build nests with rocks, but they might not know we have some fish that build their nests out of bubbles, or that butterflies taste with their feet. And kids will love learning how sea stars put their stomach on their food instead of putting food in their stomach.” Now that’s ODD!

That’s odd! - First graders Mary Campbell Doss and James Ayres Killeffer have fun meeting a blue-tongued skink at the Tennessee Aquarium.

Above: "That's odd!" - First graders Mary Campbell Doss and James Ayres Killeffer have fun meeting a blue-tongued skink at the Tennessee Aquarium.

In Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari, visitors will meet bizarre creatures like the blue-tongued skink. It’s a rather meek Australian critter that flashes its colorful mouth to ward off would-be predators. “They puff up to look larger and flash their blue tongue while hissing,” said senior educator Susie Grant. “Also, the blue color may indicate that the animal is not good to eat such as with the poison dart frog. It’s a good trick since the skink doesn’t contain a toxin.”


Want to meet even more critters with crazy behaviors? Keepers will highlight more animal oddities during these daily programs offered FREE with Aquarium admission.


10:15 AM – Piranha Presentation
River Journey, Keeper Talk in Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari


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


10:45 AM – Owl Oddities
River Journey, Stage Program in Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari


11 AM – SCUBA in Style
River Journey, Costumed divers in Nickajack Lake or River Giants


11:15 AM – Delta Adventure
River Journey, Keeper Presentation in Delta Country Exhibit


11 & 11:30 AM – Ocean Mysteries Revealed - Dive Program
Ocean Journey, Secret Reef


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


1:15 PM – Secret Lives of Sea Stars
River Journey, Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari


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


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


2:00 PM – SCUBA in Style
River Journey, Costumed Divers in River Giants or Nickajack Lake


2:15 PM – Delta Adventure
River Journey, Keeper Presentation in Delta Country Exhibit


2:00 & 2:15 PM – Fascinating Flights – Bird Shows 
River Journey, Stage Program in Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari


2:00 & 2:30 PM– Ocean Mysteries Revealed - Dive Program
Ocean Journey, Secret Reef


3:00 PM – Surprising Seahorses
River Journey, Learn about these amazing animals during a feeding in the Seahorse Gallery


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