Today: Partly cloudy and warm. Highs in the low to middle 80s. North wind 5-10 mph.
Tonight: Mostly clear with a low in the lower 60s.
Highs in the mid 80s the rest of the work week. Rain chances increase ... More...
Oh Baby! Tennessee Aquarium has a Nursery Full of Tiny Turtles
Tiny terrapins are taking over the Tennessee Aquarium, triggering a tidal wave of tasks for turtle keepers. This month to date, herpetologists have tallied two dozen new turtles. While many might think tracking turtles would take a tortoise-like tempo, the Aquarium’s collection of more than 500 turtles from 75 different species makes herpetology truly a trade that’s tackled in track shoes. “In addition to all of the exhibits with turtles, we care for a large number of pairs off exhibit. So we stay busy throughout the year,” said Aquarium senior herpetologist Bill Hughes. “While many species nest at specific times of the year, they don’t choose specific times of the day to lay eggs. So, we really have to keep a close eye on all of the enclosures to make sure we collect the eggs in a timely fashion for incubation.”
Up-To-Date Turtle Tot Totals – 21 New Babies Help Conservation Efforts
Hughes reports eight yellow-blotched map turtles, Graptemys flavimaculata, this year. A few more could hatch at the Aquarium before the season is over. This species of map turtle is endemic to the Pascagoula River and some of its tributaries in Mississippi. “They are declining in the wild because of habitat loss and are currently federally-protected,” Hughes said. Success with species like the yellow-blotched map turtle helps provide offspring that can be placed at other institutions accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). “We’re then able to reach guests with important conservation messages about rare or protected species that cannot, or should not, be removed from the wild,” said Dave Collins, the Aquarium’s curator of forests. See video: http://bit.ly/LPGPE2
The sex of these hatchlings depends on the incubation temperature. Aquarium experts are able to manage the temperature carefully to get an even number of male and female yellow-blotched map turtles. This is critical for the long-term success of any turtle breeding program. “This builds assurance colonies. If these species should disappear in the wild, they won’t become totally extinct,” said Collins. Adult yellow-blotched map turtles can be seen in the Aquarium’s Delta and Pascagoula River exhibits.
The red-headed Amazon River turtle, Podocnemis erythrocephala, is listed as Vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, IUCN, but the reality of their status could be much grimmer. “The most recent information is from 1996 so we don’t really know how many are left in the wild,” said Hughes. “It’s difficult to believe their populations have increased significantly since the last report.” There are now seven new baby red-headed Amazon River turtles at the Aquarium. “In the previous years combined, we have only hatched five of this species,” Hughes said. “We still have one egg incubating that appears to be viable.” Aquarium guests can see an adult male red-headed Amazon turtle in the Rivers of the World Gallery. See video: http://bit.ly/MLir6h
The four-eyed turtle, Sacalia quadriocellata, is listed as Endangered by IUCN. The Aquarium has three new four-eyed turtle hatchlings. This species gets its name from the false eye markings on their necks. Hughes said these most recent babies hatched from eggs laid in April. The Aquarium displays a hatchling from last year in the nursery exhibit in the River Journey Turtle Gallery. Baby four-eyed turtles from previous years have been placed at other AZA institutions. The majority of the U.S. population of these turtles is at the Tennessee Aquarium, the only zoo or aquarium currently breeding this species. “Critically endangered species, including many Asian species such as the four-eyed turtle, face a very real threat of disappearing in the wild,” said Collins. Guests can also see four-eyed turtles in the Asian River exhibit. See video: http://bit.ly/QkZzyl
Finally, two Florida chicken turtles, Deirochelys reticularia chrysea, joined the rest of this recent baby boom at the Aquarium. This pair hatched from eggs laid at the end of January. This species is not threatened or endangered in the wild in spite of their common name. They were once commonly sold in southern markets as food. The meat was said to “taste like chicken.” Collins says breeding success among these rather abundant turtles can help other endangered species.
“Chicken turtles have unusual reproductive strategies,” said Collins. “They breed in winter and their eggs need to be cooled for several weeks before being warmed to begin developing. Research in zoos and aquariums helps uncover these details. And that can lead to successful breeding of rare species for conservation purposes.” Aquarium guests can see chicken turtles in the Delta exhibit. See video: http://bit.ly/PuJUJz
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Last Update on July 30, 2014 07:12 GMT
"SHARKNADO 2: THE SECOND ONE" AIRS TONIGHT
NEW YORK (AP) -- If Ian Ziering (EYE'-uhn ZEER'-ing) didn't need health insurance he might not have made "Sharknado." He worried that the movie would turn out to be really bad. But an actor has to make a certain amount of money each year to be eligible for health insurance, so he took the job, and it turned out to be one of the biggest hits of his career. Ziering now stars in the sequel "Sharknado 2: The Second One," which airs tonight on Syfy.
<<CUT ..001 (07/30/14)>> 00:32 ""
Ian Ziering has his wife to thank for starring in the "Sharknado" movies. AP Entertainment Editor Michael Weinfeld explains why.
<<CUT ..002 (07/30/14)>> 00:15 "actually bury me"
Ian Ziering (EYE'-uhn ZEER'-ing)
Ian Ziering says he didn't want to do the first "Sharknado" because the special effects could've been really cheezy. ((longer version of cut in wrap))
<<CUT ..003 (07/30/14)>> 00:15 "for the team"
Ian Ziering (EYE'-uhn ZEER'-ing)
Ian Ziering says his pregnant wife insisted on him taking the role so they could qualify for insurance.
<<CUT ..004 (07/30/14)>> 00:10 "for doing it"
Ian Ziering (EYE'-uhn ZEER'-ing)
Ian Ziering says he owes his wife for one of the biggest hits of his career.
WILL "SHARKNADO 2" EAT TWITTER AGAIN?
UNDATED (AP) -- The first "Sharknado" blew up Twitter. People were posting about 5,000 tweets per minute. We'll see if people are as interested in the sequel, which airs tonight on Syfy. If not, they'll have another chance. "Sharknado 3" is in the works.
"GET ON UP" - CHADWICK BOSEMAN
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Chadwick Boseman was terrified of playing James Brown in "Get On Up." How terrified? Here are the percentages. Boseman says 60 percent of his fear came from learning to dance like Brown and 30 percent was from the pressure of trying to dispel the myths about Brown. The other 10 percent was just a general fear of playing an icon. "Get On Up" opens Friday.
<<CUT ..005 (07/30/14)>> 00:14 "any easy part"
Chadwick Boseman says all aspects of playing James Brown made him nervous about doing the role.
<<CUT ..006 (07/30/14)>> 00:15 "have that playing"
Chadwick Boseman says the song "Lost Someone" from James Brown's "Live at the Apollo" album helped him get into the role.
"EXTANT" BEING MOVED BACK AN HOUR TO TRY TO BOOST RATINGS
NEW YORK (AP) -- "Extant" is being moved back an hour to see if it can get better ratings. Starting tonight, it'll air at 10, Eastern daylight time, right after "Criminal Minds." CBS hopes Criminal Minds will be a better lead-in than "Big Brother." Extant was watched by about six and a-half million people last week. That's good enough for 10th place in the ratings, but not as good as CBS was hoping for its highest-profile new drama of the summer. Both episodes of "America's Got Talent" rank one and two in the ratings. They were each watched by more than 10 million people. "The Bachelorette" is in sixth place, followed by "Under the Dome" and "Big Brother."
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