Tonight: Windy at times early and much colder with an overnight low from the upper 20s to lower 30s (Record Low is 31).
Wednesday: Sunny with below average temperatures for mid April. An afternoon high from the upper 50s to lower 60s. ESE wind ... More...
Megafish Coming to Tennessee Aquarium
There's something primal that leads people to wonder what's lurking below the surface of any large river. Humans seem to be hardwired to be both fascinated by, and somewhat fearful of, Volkswagen-sized catfish. Soon a remarkable collection of freshwater fish that can reach such legendary sizes will be on display at the Tennessee Aquarium. The new River Giants exhibit, opening April 28th, features amazing species that grow to enormous proportions in the wild. “These guys are the Goliaths of freshwater,” said Thom Demas, the Aquarium’s curator of fishes. “And, for the first time anywhere, people will have an opportunity to see a global collection of these giants in a single display."
Giant pangassius catfish, that can reach lengths of more than nine feet in the wild, will be joined by a seven foot beluga sturgeon, impressive Australian whiprays, beefy barramundi and a menagerie of other freshwater creatures from around the world. Demas says some species like marbled eels, ghostly-white alligator gar and wallago will add a bit of the weird to this collection of monster fish. “The wallago catfish is one of my personal favorites,” said Demas. “It has the face of a bullhead and an eel-like body. In Southeast Asia, wallago can grow to eight feet in length.”
Redtail catfish, feisty fish with unique markings and very long whiskers, will be another crowd favorite. They'll be found prowling near the bottom of the exhibit while prehistoric-looking arapaima slowly patrol the waters above. Demas predicts guests will snap a lot of pictures of these massive predators. “The arapaima don’t just look powerful, they’re more than 100 pounds of pure, angry muscle.” Demas and other staffers have been in the water working with lots of massive fish while getting the exhibit ready for visitors.
National Geographic Explorer Dr. Zeb Hogan has also had many face-to-face encounters with titanic freshwater fish. Among the 20 species he’s highlighted for his popular National Geographic television series, “Monster Fish,” Hogan’s team documented a 650 pound Mekong catfish and a freshwater stingray with a 12-foot diameter. Hogan will be in Chattanooga for the Aquarium’s 20th Anniversary and grand opening of the River Giants exhibit on April 28th. “It’s pretty easy to love, and to be curious about, these fish,” said Hogan. “They are really hard to find in the wild and most of them occur in very remote parts of the world. The River Giants exhibit is great because, while most of us are not going to have a chance to come face-to-face with a giant catfish or freshwater rays in the wild, we’re afforded that opportunity by going to the Tennessee Aquarium.”
In spite of their ability to reach jaw-dropping sizes in the wild, most of these river giants are facing extinction in our lifetime. Some megafish species have recently disappeared forever. Hogan went searching for the Chinese paddlefish but ended up documenting what others had suspected – that this species is now extinct. “I worked with the scientist who had been searching the Yangtze River for these fish for decades,” said Hogan. “My understanding is the last Chinese paddlefish was seen in early 2007.”
A seven-foot lake sturgeon will be among the river giants in the new display. It represents hope for the other freshwater species on the brink. Today anglers are reporting these ancient-looking fish along virtually the entire length of the Tennessee River. Hogan points to the work of the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute and its partners as a model for other giant fish that are vanishing. He believes that making a connection to these species by watching Monster Fish or seeing some of them first-hand in River Giants is an important step toward helping other big species. “We need to increase awareness to make sure everyone knows what’s happening in the wild,” said Hogan. “Without that knowledge, there’s no support to try and better protect these species.”
Collaborating with National Geographic on this new exhibit extends the freshwater conservation focus that has been the Tennessee Aquarium's hallmark since opening in 1992. The National Geographic Society’s global freshwater initiative aims to inspire and empower individuals to preserve the extraordinary diversity of freshwater.
“We are proud to collaborate with the Tennessee Aquarium and work with our explorer Zeb Hogan to protect life that rivers, lakes and wetlands sustain,” said Alexander Moen, Vice President of Explorer Programs at National Geographic. “The magnificent creatures showcased in this exhibit shine a bright light on the relationship we have with our planet and help tell stories that are trademark of National Geographic.”
River Giants is yet another example of how visitors can have fun tapping into their fascination with some of the world's most interesting fish. “We have a lot of amazing animals in both Aquarium buildings," said Demas. “And I think this new collection of fish is a great way to celebrate the Aquarium's freshwater roots on the Tennessee River.”
More Entertainment News
Last Update on April 15, 2014 07:11 GMT
`DANCING WITH THE STARS'
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- It was a perfect night for James Maslow on "Dancing With the Stars." The actor-singer gets the first round of perfect scores from the judges this season. Maslow and pro partner Peta Murgatroyd did a flawless contemporary dance to "Let It Go" from "Frozen" on Disney night. Danica McKellar was just a point shy of getting a perfect score as well. Drew Carey was the low-scorer on the judges' leaderboard. Australian pop star Cody Simpson is the celeb voted off this week. There were loud boos from the audience as the results were announced. Simpson says it's been an amazing experience but adds it's tough getting the boot. His pro partner Witney Carson says people really didn't get a chance to see what they can do.
<<CUT ..001 (04/15/14)>> 00:08 "song, yet effortless"
Bruno Tonioli (toh-nee-OH'-lee)
Judge Bruno Tonioli says James Maslow was outstanding. COURTESY: BBC Worldwide Limited and American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..002 (04/15/14)>> 00:12 "fantastic, all right (cheers)"
Len Goodman and Tom Bergeron
Len Goodman tells James Maslow and his partner he can be hard to please. COURTESY: BBC Worldwide Limited and American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..003 (04/15/14)>> 00:20 ""
Announcer and judges
The judges give James Maslow the first round of perfect scores of the season. COURTESY: BBC Worldwide Limited and American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..004 (04/15/14)>> 00:16 "Cody and Whitney"
Host Tom Bergeron announces this week's results. COURTESY: BBC Worldwide Limited and American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..005 (04/15/14)>> 00:08 "it is so"
Cody Simpson, celebrity voted off
Cody Simpson says he's a little disappointed. COURTESY: BBC Worldwide Limited and American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. ((mandatory on-air credit))
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Team Usher is up next on "The Voice." Usher will be finalizing his selections for the live rounds on tonight's show. Last night, it was Team Shakira and Team Adam's turn. Shakira's selections include Tess Boyer. She calls Boyer "an amazing find." Adam Levine used his last pick on Kat Perkins. The other three judges say she's flawless. Team Blake is already in place for the live shows beginning next week.
<<CUT ..006 (04/15/14)>> 00:29 ""
Kat Perkins, performing "Open Arms"
Kat Perkins performing "Open Arms." COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..007 (04/15/14)>> 00:13 "much, thank you"
Usher and Kat Perkins
The other coaches have nothing but praise for Team Adam's Kat Perkins. COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..008 (04/15/14)>> 00:12 "huge, thank you (laughs)"
Blake Shelton, Adam Levine and Kat Perkins
Blake Shelton says Kat Perkins is too good for Team Adam. COURTESY: NBC ((mandatory on-air credit))
PEDRO PASCAL FEELS SEXY
NEW YORK (AP) -- Actor Pedro Pascal says his character on the HBO show "Game of Thrones" has a very interesting look. He says the character sort of dresses like a pimp. The character Oberyn Martell wears a low V-cut kind of robe. Pascal says Martell has a jewel and "some cool facial hair." He says when he first saw himself in costume he thought he looked great -- even sexy, and tough. Pascal says he understands that the character is a fan favorite and there are high expectations. "Game of Thrones" has already been renewed for a fourth and fifth season.
<<CUT ..013 (04/15/14)>> 00:14 "cool facial hair"
Actor Pedro Pascal says his "Game of Thrones" character, Oberyn Martell, has a very interesting look.
<<CUT ..014 (04/15/14)>> 00:08 "I felt sexy"
Actor Pedro Pascal says playing his "Game of Thrones" character, Oberyn Martell, hasn't been bad for his self esteem.
"DRAFT DAY" -- JENNIFER GARNER
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Jennifer Garner's character in "Draft Day" is modeled after the real-life cap specialist for the Cleveland Browns, who happens to be a woman. Garner says she had the privilege of shadowing Megan Rogers and pretty much stole Rogers' ways of carrying herself for the character in "Draft Day." Garner says Rogers is the type of person who never has to show that she knows everything, but brings down the hammer if necessary. Garner says women are a natural for sports management positions because they inherently know how to focus their brains on multiple things.
<<CUT ..009 (04/15/14)>> 00:09 "she comported herself"
Jennifer Garner, actress
Jennifer Garner says she got to shadow Megan Rogers, the cap specialist for the Cleveland Browns, for her character in "Draft Day."
<<CUT ..010 (04/15/14)>> 00:09 "down a hammer"
Jennifer Garner, actress
Jennifer Garner says she modeled her "Draft Day" character after Megan Rogers, the cap specialist for the Cleveland Browns.
<<CUT ..011 (04/15/14)>> 00:12 "for the team"
Jennifer Garner, actress
Jennifer Garner says she grew up in West Virginia, where high school football was a way of life.
<<CUT ..012 (04/15/14)>> 00:11 "heart and soul"
Jennifer Garner, actress
Jennifer Garner says she became the water girl for her high school football team.
JAMIE FOXX LIKES SPIDERMAN
ROME (AP) -- Jamie Foxx is proud of his new movie "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." At the movie's premiere in Rome the actor said Spiderman is a great superhero who likes to have a lot of fun. He says Spiderman's alter-ego Peter Parker is a character that kids can relate to. "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" opens in the U.S. on May 2.
<<CUT ..016 (04/15/14)>> 00:07 "to link onto"
Actor Jamie Foxx says his new movie "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" will be a great one for kids to see.
CHRIS PRATT -- "GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY"
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- A beautiful, action movie. That's how Chris Pratt describes his upcoming sci-fi epic, "Guardians of the Galaxy." Pratt says trailers for the movie haven't given anything away and that's good because people don't know what to expect. He says it's a beautiful movie that will have amazing action and will be "something totally different." He says there'll be corners of the galaxy "you didn't know existed in the Marvel universe."
<<CUT ..018 (04/15/14)>> 00:06 "the Marvel universe"
Actor Chris Pratt says his his upcoming sci-fi epic, "Guardians of the Galaxy," will be a beautiful action movie.
<<CUT ..017 (04/15/14)>> 00:08 "action it's beautiful"
Actor Chris Pratt says his his upcoming sci-fi epic, "Guardians of the Galaxy," will introduce people to a corner of the galaxy they didn't know existed in the Marvel universe.
KEVIN DILLON TEASES "ENTOURAGE" MOVIE
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Kevin Dillon says he can't tell what any of the plotlines will be in the 2015 movie adaptation of his hit TV show "Entourage." But he says it will be better than the TV series. He says it's going to be like a whole season wrapped into one movie. Dillon say fans can look forward to good times and a lot of laughs.
<<CUT ..015 (04/15/14)>> 00:05 "and good times"
Actor Kevin Dillon says the 2015 movie adaptation of his hit TV show "Entourage" will be worth waiting for.
The Good Life
Celebrating the events, adventures and activities that represent "The Good Life" in the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
SideroadsTake a ride with Don Welch to explore the unique people and places to be found along the Sideroads of the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
Road TrippinCome Road Trippin' with us and see all the great sites in your area!
Closings and DelaysThese are the latest School and Business Closings reported to NewsChannel 9. If you see errors or need to add a school or business, call 423-757-7320.
Educator of the WeekEach week WTVC will profile a teacher in Southeast Tennessee and acknowledge their part in the advancement of the education of their students and the contributions to their profession.
Deaf & Hard of HearingInformation provided to NewsChannel 9 by members of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community.
Sponsored EventsCheck Back Often for NewsChannel9 Sponsored Events!