Meet The Largest Rodent In The World, The Capybara

Meet The Largest Rodent In The World, The Capybara

Capybaras are fascinating little creatures! They’re easily recognized because of their peculiar body shape and adorable coloration. This endearing mammal has a dense, barrel-shaped body with short head and reddish-brown fur on top, while the fur on the underside turns yellowish-brown. 

Commonly found in South America, Capybaras can be found in Panama, Colombia, Brazi, Argentina, Venezuela, Peru, French Guiana, Paraguay, and Uruguay. They live in the dense rainforests that run alongside bodies of water — lakes, streams, rivers, ponds, swamps, and marshes. If you can’t make it down to the rainforests of South America, the next best place to see a Capybara is at SeaQuest Roseville, Minnesota.

 

Their Fascinating Herbivorous Diet

While the Capybara is an herbivorous animal, meaning it eats plants, it has an even fancier name for what it likes to eat. They’re graminivores, this means that they are a herbivore that feeds primarily on grasses. In the wild, they love to graze on water plants and grasses and 80% of their daily diet is made up of five species of grasses. How much grass does it take to feed a capybara? The average capybara eats between six and eight pounds of fresh grass a day.

Capybaras are almost more at home in the water than on land. Their webbed toes and ability to hold their breath underwater for up to five minutes make them excellent swimmers. If a predator is nearby or tries to attack them, they’ll dive into the water and swim out of danger. In the heat of midday, they’ll even take a dip in the water to avoid the heat. 

 

Social Life Of The Capybara

These highly social creatures live in groups of 10-30. In some situations, they can even form herds of up to 100 capybaras. They are chatty little animals who squeak, chirp, and bark around their family. Capybaras give birth to a litter of one to seven pups at a time, with the average being three, following a 120-day pregnancy. 

The capybara is also known for its highly friendly behavior. They’ve been spotted hanging out with creatures of all kinds – not just other capybaras. Some of their other friends include turtles, ducks, fawns, monkeys, and other random birds. 

 

Fun Facts About the ‘Capy’-est Rodent Around

  • Their home range is between 25 and 50 acres. 
  • Capybaras can sleep in the water! They keep their nose just above the waterline as they doze. 
  • They are crepuscular animals, this means that they are most active during dawn or dusk.
  • Like all rodents, the Capybaras teeth never stop growing. They are constantly being ground down by the grasses they eat. 
  • The Capybara is also known as the “master of the grasses,” and comes from the name Kapiyva in the indigenous language of Guarani.

Capybaras aren’t the only other fun animal to meet at SeaQuest Roseville, Minnesota. If you’re looking to see a creature that looks like it’s right out of outer space, the Axolotl is sure to fascinate. However, if you want to meet someone just as sweet as the Capybara, make sure to stop by and meet Marina the Mermaid.

 

Make sure to book your tickets to meet the capybaras at SeaQuest Roseville, Minnesota today! Buy your SeaQuest Tickets here!

Learn more about SeaQuest in Roseville, Minnesota, our animals, and VIP specials when you sign up here.

 

The Curious Blacktip Reef Shark

The Curious Blacktip Reef Shark

Easily recognized by the black tips that adorn all of their fins, the blacktip reef shark is one of the most common reef sharks. If you’re visiting a reef in the Indo-Pacific ocean or the Mediterranean Sea, you’re likely to come across the grey reef shark, whitetip reef shark, and the blacktip reef shark. But if you are near SeaQuest Roseville, Minnesota you can see all of them just a short drive away from home! 

Blacktip Reef Sharks are commonly found up to 20 meters deep, but on rare occasions can be found more than 50 meters! Often, you’ll see them swimming along with their dorsal fin sticking out of the top of the water. 

 

The Shy and Reserved Reef Predator

Blacktip Reef Sharks are definitely homebodies! Researchers studying the blacktip reef shark off the Palmyra Atoll found they have an average home range of about 21 square miles, the smallest of any species of shark. 

The Blacktip Reef Shark is a shy but curious shark. When new divers enter the water, they’ll often swim over to check them out. They are also wary and easily frightened, so they are quickly scared off. Due to their presence in the shallow reefs, Blacktip Reef Sharks often find themselves coming into contact with people. There has never been a fatal attack on a human by a blacktip reef shark, however.

 

Jawesome Blacktip Reef Shark Facts

  • The Blacktip Reef Shark reaches a maximum size of 6.6 feet and 30 pounds.
  • Blacktip Reef sharks reach maturity at a little over three feet in length for females and males at around three feet. After a gestation period of up to 14 months, they give birth to 2-5 pups, with 4 being the most common amount. Although commonly confused with the Blacktip Shark, the two species are very different. 
  • They are opportunistic feeders, but some of their favorite foods are crustaceans, squid, octopus, and bony fish. 
  • Some families in Hawaii see this shark as their “aumakua” or spirit guardian.

 

The Blacktip Reef Shark’s Conservation Status

Like most shark species, the blacktip reef shark population is on the decline. While they are not an endangered species at this time, they are noted as near threatened. Unfortunately, they are often caught as the by-product of gill net fishing. They are also fished for their fins, meat, and liver oil. 

While the Blacktip Reef Shark may be one fascinating species, you might want to check out the mysterious Axolotl here at SeaQuest Roseville, Minnesota! If landlubbers are more your style, you might want to check out the noble Green Iguana.

 

If you’ve never been lucky enough to see a Blacktip Reef Shark, come to SeaQuest Roseville, Minnesota, and watch them today! Buy your SeaQuest Tickets here!

Learn more about SeaQuest in Roseville, Minnesota, our animals, and VIP specials when you sign up here.

 

Meet the Noble Iguana, Prince of Lizards

Meet the Noble Iguana, Prince of Lizards

Meet the Noble Iguana, Prince of Lizards at SeaQuest Roseville, Minnesota

The green Iguana is a large herbivorous reptile naturally found in most warm climate areas such as southern Brazil, Paraguay, and Mexico. If the Komodo Dragon is the king of lizards, this slightly smaller cousin is definitely the Prince of Lizards. With their noble appearance and gentle nature, it’s not hard to see why so many people love these wonderful reptiles.  

 

What Does an Herbivore Eat?

The Green Iguana is an herbivore, meaning it survives off of a diet of plants and fruit. In the wild they eat mostly leaves, vines, fruits, and flowers. A favorite food of Iguanas in Panama is the wild plum. Iguanas in captivity are fed a balanced diet of turnip greens, fruits, mustard greens, flowers, dandelion greens, and growing shoots of various plants. With the help of our vets at SeaQuest Roseville, Minnesota, we are able to ensure our herbivorous friends get the best diet possible.

The Iguana equivalent of junk food is meat. On rare occasions, they’ve been seen eating eggs or small insects in the wild. Scientists studying these magnificent lizards have found that a heavy diet of meat or insects is hazardous to Iguanas, and they don’t appear to receive any benefits from eating it. So why do they do it? Scientifically, there is no rhyme or reason to this, so most experts just call it iguana junk food. 

 

An Iguana’s Guide to Reptile Communication

The small flap of skin under an iguanas chin is called the dewlap. The dewlap is used to communicate with other iguanas and make themselves look bigger to other predators. You can watch their head and dewlap movements to understand what they’re trying to tell you. To talk to one another, they move their dewlap and bob their head. When they begin to bob their head quickly, it is a sign that the Iguana is upset, but slower head bobs are used to greet one another. 

 

Speedy Facts About The Iguana

  • Iguanas are fast creatures, they can reach speeds up to 21 MPH.
  • Iguanas have a long lifespan. In captivity, they can live for more than 20 years. Some iguanas have been known to live to be 30 years old. 
  • Iguanas can reach up to 6’ from nose to tail tip, and more than half of that length is just their tail. The average adult male iguana will weigh 9 pounds, but some have been recorded to reach 18 pounds.
  • Even though they’re called ‘green’ iguanas, they actually come in a variety of colors! You can find them in blue, orange, and even purple. Their tough, colorful skin acts as camouflage to help them hide in the wild
  • Due to tropical storms and the pet trade, the green Iguana has begun to set up colonies in new areas. In 1995, 15 wild iguanas arrived in the Caribbean after a hurricane, sailing in on downed trees. Within two years, the colony was established. By 2012, it’s believed the population reached 4 million.
  • Green Iguanas are excellent swimmers. When confronted by a predator, they’ll dive into nearby water and swim away from danger.
  • Iguanas love to spend time in trees, and can survive a fall of 40 to 50 feet without injury! 

The Green Iguana isn’t the only fascinating creature we have at SeaQuest Roseville, Minnesota. If you’re looking to meet an animal that looks like it comes from deep in outer space, the Axolotl is always a blast. If you’re looking to meet a friend from the deep sea, you might just love the fantastic Comb Jelly.

Book your tickets to SeaQuest Roseville, Minnesota today, and get to know the magnificent Iguana today! Buy your SeaQuest Tickets here!

Learn more about SeaQuest in Roseville, Minnesota, our animals, and VIP specials when you sign up here.

 

World’s Largest Octopus at SeaQuest

World’s Largest Octopus at SeaQuest

World’s Largest Octopus at SeaQuest Las Vegas, Nevada:

Weighing in at 110 pounds and measuring between 10 to 16 feet, the Giant Pacific Octopus is the world’s largest octopus! Octavis, the ocean giant, joined us at SeaQuest Las Vegas almost three years ago! Octavius is a Giant Pacific Octopus, which is also known as a Enteroctopus dofleini and is an invertebrate (just like the Sea Star that you can also see at SeaQuest Roseville, Minnesota).

Next time you visit SeaQuest Las Vegas, Nevada make sure to visit Octavius during feeding time and get the chance to hand-feed his crayfish!

Check out some of our interesting facts about the Giant Pacific Octopus so you are “well-armed” for visiting us at SeaQuest!

Octo-Facts:

  • The Largest Giant Pacific Octopus was 30 feet across and was over 600 pounds!
  • The Giant Pacific Octopus lives in cold water that is around 46-54 degrees.
  • Giant Pacific Octopuses have special chromatophores that change colors and muscles that change textures in their skin so that they can blend into their surroundings and camouflage them from predators. 
  • The Giant Pacific Octopus is one strong predator! They are 90% muscle and can pull up to 700 pounds!
  • Each one of the Giant Pacific Octopus’ tentacles has anywhere from 200 to 300 suctions on each arm!
  • Speaking of arms, the Giant Pacific Octopus can regenerate arms if they lose one fighting a predator.
  • The Giant Pacific Octopus has the ability to taste and spell by touch, this is known as chemotaxis.
  • The Giant Pacific Octopus is a highly intelligent animal! They are known to have learned to solve puzzles, play with toys, and even recognize caregivers!

Come see us and Octavius at SeaQuest Las Vegas, Nevada to learn more about the Giant Pacific Octopus! 

Learn more about SeaQuest Roseville, Minnesota, our animals, and VIP specials when you sign up here.

 

Stars of the Sea at SeaQuest

Stars of the Sea at SeaQuest

Seeing Stars:

Mostly known as the go-to fashion choice of mermaids, Sea Stars are one of the most iconic marine animals of all time! Known previously as the Starfish, Sea Stars are surprisingly not even fish! Fish have important anatomical parts like gills, scales, and fins; Sea Stars have none of these. Sea Stars are actually invertebrates just like sand dollars and corals, which you can also see at SeaQuest Roseville,, Minnesota.  Crustaceans (crabs and lobsters) are also invertebrates, but unlike crustaceans, Sea Stars do not have a shell! 

Movement in the Water:

WAIT, Sea Stars have no fins! So how do they MOVE? 

Sea Stars don’t stay still their whole lives, they don’t use the ocean’s tides to move along the ocean floor, so then how do they move? Sea Stars typically have five “legs” that surround their body, this is what creates the radial symmetry of their shape. Underneath each one of the legs of a Sea Star sits hundreds of “feet” that allow them to walk along the floor of the ocean. Recent research has shown that these feet have a natural glue that allows Sea Stars to stick to rocks and coral so that the tides do not wash them away! Another interesting fact about the legs of a Sea Star is that they can regenerate. If a Sea Star loses a leg due to a predator, it can grow a new arm later (although this can take about a year to grow back).

Strange Bodies:

We know all about the legs of a Sea Star now, but what about everything else? Sea Stars actually have no brain and no blood! They use filtered seawater to pump nutrients through their nervous system. This is also the reason that Sea Stars can’t survive in freshwater. Sea Stars also live long lives compared to most sea creatures. The average lifespan is 35 years!

Eating Habits:

One of the most interesting things about Sea Stars is how they eat! Sea Stars have two stomachs, creating a two-part eating system. The first stomach leaves the body once the Sea Star finds its prey and produces a digestive enzyme onto the prey to break down, then the second stomach then eats and digests the prey.

Come Meet the Stars:

SeaQuest’s interactive exhibits at Roseville,, Minnesota have tanks where you can see and touch Sea Stars!

Learn more about SeaQuest Roseville,, Minnesota, our animals, and VIP specials when you sign up here.

 

A “Prickly” New Friend Joins Us at SeaQuest: The Crested Porcupine

A “Prickly” New Friend Joins Us at SeaQuest: The Crested Porcupine

Pokey, the Crested Porcupine:

With quills nearly a foot long, the Crested Porcupine is the world’s largest and (possibly) the scariest porcupine! Even though they look tough, we know what softies they really are. Come see for yourself and meet Pokey, the crested porcupine at SeaQuest Layton, Utah. 

We are so excited to add Pokey to the SeaQuest family! To book an interactive session with Pokey, use the calendar here.

Some “Sharp” Facts About Crested Porcupines:

  • The Crested Porcupine typically lives for about 20 years.
  • A Crested Porcupine is around 30-60 pounds (13-27 KG) and 2-3 feet (60-83 CM).
  • Crested Porcupines are nocturnal animals, meaning that they spend the day in their dens and forage for food at night.
  • Sharp, black and white quills cover the back of a Crested Porcupine, which becomes a crest for protection against predators.
  • Speaking of predators, the quills of a Crested Porcupine are so sharp that they can injure large predators like hyenas and lions!
  • When a Crested Porcupine is threatened, the quills vibrate and produce a “hiss” sound that wards off predators. 
  • Quills of a newborn Crested Porcupine are soft and will begin to harden just hours after birth!
  • Crested Porcupines are avid swimmers, but are not able to climb or jump well.

Think these Crested Porcupine facts are porcu-FINE? Then come see us at SeaQuest to learn more!

 

Learn more about SeaQuest Roseville, Minnesota, our animals, and VIP specials when you sign up here.

 

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