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Featured Animals

Red-capped Manakin

The Red-capped manakin is well known to recipients of web-videos as the "Moon Walk" bird. That remarkable display of zipping back and forth by incredibly fast foot motion is its courtship behavior, which is taken to extremes by the various manakins. While most of the 146 species are South American, this manakin is found from Southeastern Mexico through Central America, to Ecuador.


Another relative of cranes and rails, this Central and South American forest bird is not related to true bitterns, which are herons. When alarmed, it spreads its brilliantly colored wings, completely transforming its appearance. It was first bred in captivity more than 140 years ago, at the London Zoo, and has bred in many places since, including the DWA.

Blind cavefish

When first discovered in the 1930s, these eyeless, pigmentless fish were assigned their own genus, Anoptichthys. Since then, ichthyologists have determined they are at least 30 genetically isolated populations of the Mexican tetra, which is normally a silvery fish with well-developed eyes that is found north to the Rio Grande Valley in Texas. Fish collected in one cave, la Cueva Chica, in San Luis Potosi in the 1940s, are the ancestors of the fishes made available by commercial breeders to home aquarists, public aquariums and zoos.

Recent Articles

Q1 2014 Letter from the Director

Dear Members, Spring is officially here – indicating that we have safely and successfully finished another Spring Break, are busy...

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After what seems like an endless winter, it appears that Spring has finally sprung, and with that, the beauty of...

Out of the Blue

The Blue-throated macaw (Ara glaucogularis) is about 33 inches (84 cm) long, including the length of its tail feathers, and...