Animal Encounters

Fun Animal Encounters

From a hairy tarantula to a talking African gray parrot, you never know what you’ll bump into in Ranger Rick's Backyard Safari at the Tennessee Aquarium!

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Animal Keeper

Animal Keeper Updates

Get a peek behind the scenes of the Aquarium’s Husbandry department. Read their weekly animal updates and get an insider’s look at caring for over 10,000 animals and plants.

ANIMAL UPDATES
FISHES

Brook Trout

Salvelinus fontinalis

ON EXHIBIT:  Cove Forest in River Journey

Brook Trout

FUN FACTS

Of the three species of trout living in the Tennessee Aquarium, only the brook trout ("brookie") is native to southern Appalachian mountain streams. The other two species we exhibit (rainbow trout and brown trout) were introduced to the area. Brookies are easy to spot. They are a dark grey or olive green with spots, but their most distinctive marking is the silvery white strip that borders most of their fins. This is a breeding male brook trout. Notice the intense coloration -- golden on the sides and a bright orange to scarlet on the bottom. During spawning season, the bright colors and hooked lower jaw distinguish the males from the females, enabling the female brook trout to identify the male. The brighter the colors and the larger the hooked jaw, the more attractive the male is to the female.


CONSERVATION
Brook trout are considered an indicator species.  When habitat is damaged, brook trout are one of the first species to decline.  Major threats to brook trout are poor land management, increase in water temperature and introduction of non-native species such as brown trout.  Although not listed under IUCN, they are heavily monitored by several conservation groups including Trout Unlimited and the US Forest Service.




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About This Animal

SIZE: 33.9 in (86.0 cm)

RANGE: Eastern United States and Canada, from Georgia to Maine

HABITAT: Clear, cool, well-oxygenated creeks, small to medium rivers, and lakes

DIET:  Worms, leeches, crustaceans, insects, mollusks, fishes and amphibians; also small mammals