Animal Athletes At The Tennessee Aquarium

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - by Thom Benson

Did you know some ants can carry 50 times their body weight? How about that Alligator Snapping Turtles can hold their breath for 40 minutes or that a hummingbird flaps its wings about 80 times a second?

During the upcoming IRONMAN 70.3 World Championships on Saturday, Sept. 9, andSunday, Sept. 10, and during the IRONMAN weekend of Sept. 23 and 24 in Chattanooga, visitors to the Tennessee Aquarium will be able to put their own athletic abilities to the test. Guests can leap like a lemur, solve an octopus puzzle and see how their ability to withstand frigid waters compares to a penguin’s. Then, they’ll meet the animals whose extraordinary abilities help them meet these challenges every day.

Kids of all ages can test their speed and strength, as well some wilder skills like wing flapping and (paper) fly catching. As they visit activity stations, they will learn about the special adaptations and attributes that give some animal athletes the ability to go farther, move faster or jump higher. Competing in events like IRONMAN is challenging and rewarding for humans, but for many of these animals, pushing themselves to the limit is a matter of survival.

“We hope that while guests are competing, they also gain an appreciation for some of nature’s most amazing animal feats,” said senior educator/animal trainer Susie Grant. “These remarkable abilities are part of what helps them survive as they search for food and avoid being dinner for someone else.”

The Animal Athletes programming is free with Aquarium admission or Aquarium membership. Participants can pick up a score card at the registration table in the River Journey lobby. Upon completing the days’ activities, guests can return to the River Journey Lobby to claim an Animal Athletes medal.

Are you up for the challenge?

Schedule of Events Sept. 9-10 and 23-24

10 – 11 a.m. and 1 – 2 p.m. Outside Challenges (under the River Journey pavilion)

-        Leaping Lemur Long Jump

-        Octo-Jar Challenge

-        Jump Higher than an Arapaima

-        Ice Water Endurance

-        Speed Trials

-        Water Jug Weightlifting

3 and 4 p.m. Critter Close-up: Meet an Animal Athlete (River Journey, Delta Country gallery)

3:30 p.m. Super Snakes and Fantastic Frogs (River Journey Auditorium)

Self-guided activities:

-        Wing Flapping: How many beats in one minute? River Journey Overlook

-        Hold Your Breath: How many seconds? Delta Country Exhibit

-        Wingspan of an Eagle: How wide is yours? River Journey Overlook

The Aquarium recommends the following training schedule to hopeful competitors:

- Always remember to stretch from head to tail.

- Be sure to drink plenty of water, even if you live in it.

- A balanced diet is important for everyone, from herbivore to carnivore and everything in between.

- Run, swim, fly, crawl or slither for at least 30 minutes every day.

- Get six to eight hours of sleep each night (or day, if you’re nocturnal).



2018 Official Tennessee Vacation Guide Honors Civil Rights Icon Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development today released its 2018 Official Tennessee Vacation Guide. The cover features an inspiring, artistic rendering of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. along with the Lorraine Motel, the site of his assassination, which is now home to the National Civil Rights Museum. Fifty years ago, Dr. King was in Memphis, where he marched with striking ... (click for more)

What's New In Tennessee Travel For 2018

Tourism in Tennessee continues to expand with new attractions, impressive state-of-the-art developments and milestone anniversary celebrations of iconic attractions that help shape “The Soundtrack of America. Made in Tennessee.” 2018 marks several milestones in Tennessee, including honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the National Civil Rights Museum on the ... (click for more)

Snow Reaches Chattanooga on Tuesday Afternoon, But Brings Little Accumulation; Many Schools, Most Courts Closed Wednesday

Snow began falling in downtown Chattanooga early Tuesday afternoon, but there was little accumulation.  The National Weather Service issued a special statement on Tuesday night warning of icy roads. It says:  SPECIAL WEATHER STATEMENT UNTIL  9AM EST  WED ...VERY COLD TEMPERATURES AND PATCHY ICE ON ROADS THROUGH  WEDNESDAY MORNING... TEMPERATURES ... (click for more)

Young Gets 23 Years In North Chattanooga Murder

Abram "AB" Young pleaded guilty on Tuesday morning to a murder in North Chattanooga and was sentenced to 23 years in prison. Young was 17 at the time of the 2015 slaying of 19-year-old Charles Holsey during a drug deal behind the Kangaroo on Dallas Road. He is now 20. Prosecutor Cameron Williams said the sentence for second-degree murder will be served at 100 percent. Young ... (click for more)

Thank You, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thank you, Dr. King for stepping-out.  Thank you for your lasting voice to what it's all about. Thank you, Dr. King for  stepping up and also showing-up, ...when decisions were being made and  your refusal  to shut-up.  We find your fingerprints on both directions and toward progress.  your modeling, mentoring,  and reactions helps ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Once In A Blue…

On August 21st this past summer, four black women were walking down the street in Dayton, Tn., when a white man asked from his porch, “Are you ladies here to see the eclipse?” Told that yes, they most certainly were, the gentleman pointed to his back deck and another white couple and said, “If you don’t have plans, would you care to sit with us?” The ladies were delighted and ... (click for more)