Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Animal Kingdom to add Australia?

A recent post over at The Disney Blog has reported that Disney has begun the process of construction on a new Australian themed land within its Animal Kingdom theme park in Orlando, Florida. The author of the blog claims "Australia is the first step in realizing the final vision of Disney's Animal Kingdom. The park currently lacks any aquatic/sea-life exhibits. So picture a Great Barrier Reef exhibit and a Killer Whale and/or Dolphin show. DAK does have a few Kangaroo, but a larger Marsupial exhibit would be a great addition." Is this Disney's answer to Sea World? We will see these plans fully realized? Personally, I would like to see more big rides with real animal encounters. What do you think? Is the Australian expansion rumor at Animal Kingdom fact or fiction?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Interested in a career in zoo exhibit design?

If you're interested in a career in design zoo exhibits then you might be interested to check out www.zoolex.org. The ZooLex Zoo Design Organization is a non-profit organization which runs a professional zoo design website and distributes s newsletter. This site provides exciting and specific information on various zoo exhibits from around the globe. The latest featured project is Realm of the Giants at Dierenpark Amersfoort Zoo, an exhibit for a group of up to ten Asian elephants. Elements of reversed landscape immersion, an abundance of tree trunks and plants indoors and outdoors create high complexity in a relatively limited space. Read more from Zoolex.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Georgia Aquarium sequencing the whale shark genome

Georgia Aquarium is sequencing the whale shark genome. This is cutting-edge research because understanding what makes the largest species of a group special provides a reference point for broadening our scientific knowledge of many other aquatic animals (scientists call these comparative analyses). This will allow us to ask and answer questions including: what piece of the DNA makes a whale shark unique, how is it different from other sharks, how are sharks different from other vertebrates including us, and what genes are associated with its unusual size and eating behaviors. Currently our partners at the Emory University Core DNA Sequencing Facility and Roche454 have helped us secure more funds to continue this project. It is our hope that with a few additional gifts and continued support from our partners we will be able to complete our major sequencing efforts in the new year.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Endangered Animals: Key Deer

The Key Deer (Odocoileus virginianus clavium) is an endangered species of deer that lives only in the Florida Keys. It is a subspecies of the  White-tailed deer found in abundance throughout the rest of America. Conservation efforts include the establishment of the National Key Deer Refuge, which consists of approximately 8,500 acres on Big Pine, No Name Key and several smaller uninhabited islands. Dusk is the best time of day to see the Key Deer.Try turning left (South) on the first road when you get to Big Pine Key. You can't miss it due to all of the warning signs.