Family heirlooms come in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it’s something valuable, like an antique piece of jewelry. Other times it’s sentimental, like an infant’s christening outfit.

narwhal tusk

Young visitors check out the 7-foot narwhal tusk, now on display at The Maritime Aquarium through April 7.

And sometimes it’s a narwhal tusk.

A friend of The Maritime Aquarium who has a narwhal tusk – received as a unique hand-me-down from a family member – has loaned it to the Aquarium for temporary display. It’s in an exhibit case right after the Sea Turtles exhibit.

The gift couldn’t have come at a better time. Leading narwhal expert Dr. Martin T. Nweeia will be at the Aquarium next month for a talk on one of the ocean’s most elusive and mysterious creatures.

The tusk will be on display until Dr. Nweeia’s talk, which is April 7. (Get information about his appearance here, or click here for tickets!)

Dubbed the “unicorn of the sea,” the narwhal is known for its giant, spiraling horn, which is actually a tooth that juts out from its upper jaw. The exact purpose of the tusk is still a mystery to scientists, but many believe it is used for mating rituals and asserting dominance.

The tusks, which can grow up to 10 feet long, are typically found on males. Continue reading

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Nurse shark.

You’ve got questions, we’ve got answers! With the help of our team of experts, aquarists, and educators, we’ll continue to answer your questions — none are too big or too small. Just send them to us on Facebook and Twitter and we may answer it right here on the blog!

Today’s question came from one of our Facebook fans, which we handed off to our veterinarian, Dr. Barb Mangold. Continue reading

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Maritime Aquarium President and CEO Jennifer Herring with her husband Fernand Brunschwig.

In December, Jennifer Herring, president and CEO of The Maritime Aquarium, announced she will retire in 2014. She has served in that position for 10 of the Aquarium’s 25-year history and, in that time, has come a wealth of unique experiences and memories.

As a reflection on her many years with the institution, Jennifer has compiled her favorite memories of the Aquarium – 10 memories for 10 years – to share with our visitors and fans. Over the next few months, we’ll share her thoughts on how the Aquarium has changed and grown under her care. Continue reading

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In collaboration with Bank of America, The Fairfield County Community Foundation has come up with a fun way to generate support for The Maritime Aquarium and many other important non-profit organizations throughout the region.

It’s called FC Gives, an online, 24-hour day of giving on Friday, March 7. The goal is to raise $1 million for more than 300 nonprofit groups.

Continue reading

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The marking is placed on an area of the body only visible to the seals through the use of a mirror.

Our seals recognize their trainers and each other, but can they recognize themselves?

That’s what Maritime Aquarium intern Alexis Hudson, a senior Marine Biology major at the University of New Haven, wants to find out.

Continue reading

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Kiara Velazquez beat out nearly 400 other Norwalk high school students in The Maritime Aquarium's boat naming contest with her submission "Spirit of the Sound.

The “Spirit of the Sound” has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk’s new hybrid-powered research vessel will take on the name dreamed up by Kiara Velazquez, a sophomore at Brien McMahon High School. Continue reading

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Love is in the air! Show your special someone how much you care with our very own Valentine’s Day e-cards starring animals from The Maritime Aquarium.

Looking for even more ways to spread the love? Head over to our Facebook page and share them for everyone to see!

Interested in more of our programs? Check back with our blog or sign up for updates straight to your inbox! In the meantime, you can stay up to date with us from every corner of the web. You’ll find us happily posting, pinning and tweeting away on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and Tumblr.

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Vacation camp programs run from Feb. 17-21.

Give your kids something fun and exciting to talk about when they go back to school after February break! There are still spots available in our February vacation camps for kids ages 6 – 12 and we’ve extended the registration deadline from Feb. 10 to Thursday, Feb. 13.

Kids love our camps because they get to be junior marine biologists. Parents love them because they’re educational and doesn’t involved texting or tweeting. Everyone wins! Continue reading

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By Dave Sigworth, Maritime Aquarium publicist

To an adoring Maritime Aquarium audience Thursday night, Fabien Cousteau acknowledged that he had a “very different upbringing.”

His adult experiences are pretty different, too.

Fabien Cousteau shares a light moment during his talk at The Maritime Aquarium on Feb. 6.

Cousteau’s grandfather was the famous filmmaker/ocean explorer who invented SCUBA and engaged the world with more than 130 episodes in the 1960s & ‘70s of “The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau.”  (“I didn’t realize he was a famous person until much later in my life,” Fabien said.)

Cousteau said he learned to scuba dive at age 4. He was along on most family expeditions aboard Calypso and later Alcyone.

Continue reading

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The fully intact exoskeleton from our giant hermit crab's recent molt.

Does our giant hermit crab look different to you? We’re not sure whether to call this a costume change or a change of address, but one of the hermit crabs molted recently and then ditched its old whelk-shell home for some new digs. Continue reading

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