Tennessee Aquarium Spotlight Shines on New Creatures Save $5 Off Tickets for Kids in October during “Thrills, Gills and Chills”

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Chattanooga, Tenn. (October 5, 2011) – Some thrilling new birds are taking flight in Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari, adding flashes of pink to the Tennessee Aquarium’s new gallery. “We have two male galahs, or rose-breasted cockatoos, that are very colorful and chatty birds,” said senior aviculturist Amy Graves. Galahs are a pink-crested species of cockatoo that are native to Australia. According to Graves, the Aquarium’s galahs are high-energy birds with a bit of an attitude. “When they get excited their crest will come up, followed by head bobs and some very sharp and very shrill squeaks and screeches,” she said.

If it sounds like the galahs are screaming, it may be because other spooky creatures will be brought out to meet visitors throughout October. As part of “Thrills, Gills and Chills,” the Aquarium’s month-long look at spooky, mysterious and misunderstood creatures, creepily cool animals will be making more frequent appearances in Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari. A New Caledonian gecko will peer at guests through oversized eyes. “This is the largest species of gecko in the world,” said animal encounter specialist Amanda Pippen. “The residents of New Caledonia sometimes refer to these guys as ‘the devil in the trees’ because they often make weird growling noises in the trees at night.” In spite of their local nickname, these creatures have soft skin that feels like velvet.

Meet “Creatures of the Night” during a special stage program each morning at 10:45 am. Dozens of other amazing animals from a flying squirrel to beautiful birds and creepy crawlies like tarantulas are part of the fun. Even if you don’t want to meet a gecko or praying mantis up close, you can enjoy special feedings, costumed divers and themed keeper talks designed to bring visitors closer to some of nature’s most feared creatures.

As an added treat, visitors during October can mention “Fall Break” to save $5.00 off each child admission.
Thrills, Gills & Chills Special Program Schedule for October:

FREE with Aquarium admission

10:15 AM – The Tooth About Piranhas
River Journey, Keeper Talk in Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari

10:30 AM – Pumpkins & Penguins
Ocean Journey, Keeper talk in Penguins’ Rock

10:45 AM – Creatures of the Night
River Journey, Stage Program in Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari

11:00 AM – Scaredy Cat-Fish
River Journey, Costumed divers in Nickajack Lake

11:00 & 11:30 AM – Bite Fright Dive Show
Ocean Journey, Secret Reef

11:00 AM, 12:30 PM, 12:45 PM – Up Close with Creatures
River Journey, Stage Program in Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari

1:30 PM – Jaws & Claws
Ocean Journey, Animal feedings in Boneless Beauties

1:30 PM – Treat Time for Otters
River Journey, Otter Program in Cove Forest

1:45 PM – Pumpkins & Penguins
Ocean Journey, Keeper talk in Penguins’ Rock

2:00 PM & 2:15 PM – Up Close with Creatures
River Journey, Stage Program in Ranger Rick’s Backyard Safari

2:00 & 2:30 PM– Bite Fright Dive Show
Ocean Journey, Secret Reef

2:00 PM – Divers Delight
River Journey, Costumed divers in Gulf of Mexico

Aqua-Scarium Halloween Party October 28th
Save the date for the Aqua-Scarium Halloween Party on Friday, October 28th from 6:30 – 9:30 pm. It’s a huge night of family fun at the Tennessee Aquarium. Guests are encouraged to come in costume and party with the wild things throughout both Aquarium buildings. Visitors will enjoy a continuous stream of costumed divers, games, treats and a dance floor ready for pint-sized pirates, adorable angels and superheroes galore. Pre-register online by October 26th: http://www.tnaqua.org/Events/Events.aspx Tickets will also be available at the door.

Awesome Autumn Fall Leaf Cruises
Fall fun continues aboard the River Gorge Explorer. Treat your family to a relaxing excursion into “Tennessee’s Grand Canyon” to view fall color. An Aquarium naturalist highlights history and points out wildlife on every cruise. The winding nature of the Gorge, with slopes right down to the water’s edge, makes this stretch of river one of the most scenic in the nation. Reserve your seats today by going to: http://www.tnaqua.org/RiverGorgeExplorer/RiverGorgeExplorer.aspx

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The Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder, appreciation and protection of water and all life that it sustains. Admission is $24.95 per adult and $14.95 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $8.50 per adult and $7.00 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are $30.95 for adults and $20.95 for children. Excursions aboard the new River Gorge Explorer depart daily into “Tennessee’s Grand Canyon.” Cruise tickets are $29.00 per adult and $21.50 per child (3-12). Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.tnaqua.org or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities.

Thom Benson
Communications Manager
Tennessee Aquarium & IMAX Theater
201 Chestnut Street
Chattanooga, TN 37402-1014
direct 423-785-3007   mobile 423-309-7674   fax 423-265-2871
www.tnaqua.org

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