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).



This Week’s Tennessee Tourism Round Up

Scavenger hunts, specialty burgers for a bargain, beer & cheese pairings, free concerts, movies under the stars, sing-along musicals, a 90s party, a craft fair and unique festivals like Uncle Dave Macon Days and Kingsport Fun Fest are all on tap this week across Tennessee. For a complete list of events, visit  tnvacation.com/calendar . Ongoing Tennessee State ... (click for more)

Architectural Tour Of The Artsy Los Angeles Neighborhood Of Silver Lake

A few years ago, Forbes ranked the Silver Lake neighborhood the hippest in Los Angeles. The magazine might have questionable credentials in the judgment of cool, but it got this one right. The flatlands have lots of indie stores, art galleries, and nightclubs, graffiti art is everywhere, foodies jam restaurants like Moby’s vegan Little Pine, and there is a cottage industry of ... (click for more)

Person Killed, 2 Injured In Accident On Suck Creek Road Saturday Morning

Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office deputies and traffic investigators were on the scene of an accident that occurred at approximately  8:45 a.m.  near the 2100 block of Suck Creek Road. The accident involved two vehicles, a van and a car. Reports at this time are only preliminary, but two people sustained injuries and were transported by HCEMS to a local hospital. ... (click for more)

A Jury For 2nd Time Convicts Randall Reed Of Murdering 70-Year-Old Woman In 2011

A jury for the second time has convicted Randall Reed of first-degree murder in the 2011 death of 70-year-old Jane Stokes in East Ridge. The verdict was returned in the courtroom of Judge Tom Greenholtz’s on Friday. The earlier verdict had been thrown out by an appeals court. Reed testified in his own behalf. The victim was murdered in her home during a robbery in 2011. ... (click for more)

Just Recuse Yourself

Pam Fleenor, have you ever heard the terms “conflict of interest” or “appearance of impropriety”? It’s a foregone conclusion that Robin Smith will be victorious in Chancellor Fleenor’s courtroom. Here’s another term you may want to re-examine, recuse yourself.   Rusty Munger (click for more)

Not My University: Why I’m Not Okay With Mike Pence Coming To Lee University - And Response (6)

As a student of Lee University, who is well-aware of the Lee administration’s more conservative stance in politics, I am upset about Mike Pence visiting the university and being welcomed on our campus. Although I respect that Pence is in a position of authority as our nation’s Vice President, and that he likewise deserves the right to hold his own opinions in regards to the issues ... (click for more)