Just The Black Tip Reef

7.8.2013

By Andrew Belonsky

Maybe you'll see some anthiinae transition from female-to-male.

Did you know that the reef fish anthias are one of a dozen or so fish that can switch genders? In the case of the anthiinae subfamily, their gender-bending adheres to social rituals. When a dominant male dies, the largest female transitions and takes over his role. If you're lucky, you'll see this rite of passage go down at the new Black Tip Reef Exhibition at the National Aquarium in Baltimore.

In addition to anthiinae, the intricate, 260,000 gallon coral reef ecosystem will house black tip reef sharks, over 60 types of fish, and 15 other species found in the Indo-Pacific reef. But as interesting and alien and fascinating as those creatures will be, one inhabitant is likely to steal the spotlight: Calypso, the aquarium's 500-pound sea turtle.

She's been on break "behind the scenes" while the reef was being created, but now Calypso, found in 2000 off the Long Island coast, is in her new space and prepping for the official grand opening, which will go down in the very near future. Until then, the aquarium is busy adding new species and creatures for Calypso to get to know and visitors are encouraged to stroll through to see the under water paradise being finalized.

Here's an artist's rendering of what Calypso's kingdom will look like when it's all done:

 

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