Thursday, September 25, 2014

Tennessee Aquarium ready for next month -- ODDtober

Zoos and aquariums traditionally don't stray far when it comes to seasonal promotions -- spooky decorations around trick-or-treat time, holiday lights for the run-up to the holidays.

So give credit to the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga, Tenn., for upping the ante: Their ODDtober events play up the fall month by hinting at Halloween... by showcasing their  weird  animals.

 It's enough to make you point your Buick to the aquarium complex on the downtown  banks of the Tennessee River.

Here's some of what they'll be displaying Oct. 1-31:

Lungfish. When the dry season comes to the Amazon River, these air-breathing water creatures burrow into mud banks, secret a mucous that keeps their skin from drying, and wait underground for months until the next rainy season arrives.

A ghost-white baby American alligator -- shown above. He's an extremely rare albino. They often survive only a few days in the wild because their lack of protective coloration makes them easy target for predators.

African tiger fish. They're a recent addition to the aquarium's Lake Tanganyika exhibit. These nasty creatures have razor-sharp teeth, and in the wild will jump out of the water to snag low-flying birds.

ODDtober events are scheduled throughout the day, from 10 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., and include everything from keeper talks about penguins to presentations about seahorses. There are about two dozen ODDtober things to see and do each day -- and they're included in regular Tennessee Aquarium admission.

Oh, yeah. There are also costumed scuba divers making daily appearances. They will of course be carving pumpkins underwater each Saturday in October.

And there's always the bigfin reef squid, which has blue eyes and can change the color of its skin.