Saturday: A mix of sun and clouds. An afternoon high in the upper 60s and even near 70 in spots. A southwest wind at 10mph.
Saturday Night: Cloudy and dry during the evening. Some light rain possible late in the night and toward daybreak. Expect ... 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
More Entertainment News
Last Update on March 07, 2014 10:08 GMT
ISAIAH WASHINGTON TO RETURN TO "GREY'S ANATOMY"
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Seven years after he was fired, Isaiah Washington is returning to "Grey's Anatomy." But it won't be a long run. ABC says he will be back in May as the season ends. The end the season will also bring the departure of Sandra Oh. Her character was engaged to Washington's character at one point in the hospital drama. Washington left the series in 2007 after a controversy over his use of an anti-gay slur against fellow actor T.R. Knight. Washington repeated the slur at the 2007 Golden Globe awards. Despite apologizing and meeting with gay-rights groups, he was cut loose from the show.
ARIEL WINTER - "MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN"
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Ariel Winter had heard of "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" before she was cast as Penny in the movie version of it, but she had never seen it. Winter says she looked up the cartoons and thought they were "hilarious and brilliant," but then she made a realization: Penny wasn't in the cartoons. Winter saw that as an opportunity, because she could create the character. She says it was like being given a blank book and she got to write the pages. "Mr. Peabody and Sherman" opens in theaters today.
Ariel Winter says she doesn't limit herself to just live acting or just voiceovers for animation because she wants to do everything.
<<CUT ..007 (03/07/14)>> 00:15 "wasn't in it (laughs)"
Ariel Winter, actress
Ariel Winter says she did some research on her character, Penny, when she found out she was cast in "Mr. Peabody and Sherman."
<<CUT ..008 (03/07/14)>> 00:11 "my own character"
Ariel Winter, actress
Ariel Winter says she was surprised that her character, Penny, was not in the original cartoon.
"AMERICAN IDOL" ELIMINATES EMILY PIRIZ
LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Doing a Jennifer Lopez song in front of Jennifer Lopez did not save Emily Piriz on "American Idol." She was sent home. Lopez appeared irritated when the judges were asked if they were going to use their save, and she said their decision was not unanimous. Jena (JEE'-nah) Irene and MK Nobillette were also in the bottom three. Next week, the contestants will sing songs from movies.
Emily Piriz, performing "Stars." COURTESY: Fox ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..003 (03/07/14)>> 00:10 "a decision, no (laughs; crowd noise)"
Ryan Seacrest and Jennifer Lopez
Host Ryan Seacrest asks the judges about Emily Piriz's fate. COURTESY: Fox ((mandatory on-air credit))
<<CUT ..004 (03/07/14)>> 00:16 "use the save (boos)"
Jennifer Lopez and Harry Connick Jr.
The judges decide not to keep Emily Piriz in the competition. COURTESY: Fox ((mandatory on-air credit))
12 YEARS A SLAVE UP FOR MTV MOVIE AWARDS
NEW YORK (AP) -- Does popcorn come with that Oscar? We'll find out next month with this year's winner for best picture goes up against remakes of box-office stars like "The Hunger Games" and "The Hobbit" at the MTV Movie Awards. MTV has announced the nominees for this year's awards, which are crafted in the shape of a popcorn box. Other movie of the year categories include "The Wolf of Wall Street" and "American Hustle." Unlike the Oscars, the awards include categories like best kiss and best shirtless performance. Winners will be announced at a ceremony in Los Angeles on April 13. Conan O'Brien will host.
KEVIN SPACEY TO LEAD FLORIDA ACTING WORKSHOP
TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- It will be a case of Hollywood meeting Bollywood -- in Florida. Oscar-winning actor Kevin Spacey will be in Tampa to lead an acting workshop next month. The session will be part of the International Indian Film Academy's weekend and awards. The event is the equivalent to the Oscars for Bollywood. Joining Spacey in the master class will be Bollywood actress Vidya Balan.
The Good Life
Celebrating the events, adventures and activities that represent "The Good Life" in the NewsChannel 9 viewing area.
Stories of HonorCelebrate black history all February long with Stories of Honor, sponsored by the Tennessee Lottery.
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!