Today: 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Don't miss these special exhibits ... only here at The Maritime Aquarium for a limited time!
This new exhibit features four 4- to 5-foot sandbar sharks (Carcharhinus plumbeus), one of the shark species native to Long Island Sound. These sharks serve as examples of how animals new to the Aquarium are quarantined before being introduced into the permanent displays. In the exhibit, the Animal Husbandry staff will measure and chart the sharks’ growth; screen for health issues, including contagious infections; and teach the sharks how to feed in a safe, controlled way.
Displays throughout the exhibit offer information about sandbar sharks and their care; explain the careful process of receiving the sharks from a vetted facility in Florida, where the sharks were born and raised; and trace out the complex life-support systems needed to create the optimal aquatic habitat for the sharks.
They likely were your first pet. You could win them at carnivals. Mom flushed them when they died. And there was a college craze in the 1950s of swallowing them. But there’s a lot more to goldfish than that.
Delve into the underappreciated story of the goldfish in our special exhibit, “Think You Know Goldfish?” The 700-square-foot exhibit celebrates the cultural history of goldfish, clears up common misconceptions, and shows the proper methods and equipment for their care.
Aquarium guests may be surprised to learn that: there are more than 100 varieties of goldfish (seven live varieties are featured in the exhibit); goldfish are descended from carp (which also are displayed); they were selectively bred for their bright colors in China more than 1,000 years ago; they’re trainable; and keeping Goldie in an old-fashioned fishbowl is the worst place for a goldfish.
The exhibit also explains how goldfish – when illegally released into a pond or lake – can grow to the size of a football, degrade water quality, and outcompete native fish for food and space. That’s why many states, including Connecticut, classify goldfish as an invasive or introduced species.
Displays in the creative exhibit range from traditional Aquarium tanks to a living room with a properly equipped home aquarium to an open-water koi pond complete with wooden bridge. (Koi have an ancient history similar to goldfish, being derived from a species of carp in China; albeit a different species of carp.)
Plus, historic and contemporary prints, paintings and drawings depicting goldfish are displayed alongside the live animals, offering fresh perspectives on the cultural inspiration these popular fish have provided over the centuries.
“Think You Know Goldfish?” is free with Aquarium admission.
Marvel at the fascinating forms and adaptations of animals from ocean reefs and freshwater streams – and discover the important warnings they can tell us – in this special exhibit that showcases live creatures with their representations in art!
Stars of this new exhibit are a group of mollusks called nudibranchs known for their striking forms and brilliant colors. There are some 3,000 species of nudibranchs throughout the world's ocean. They are found everywhere from cold-water habitats to tropical waters, and from shallow waters to deeper than 8,000 feet below sea level. (Some two dozen are found in Long Island Sound.)
In addition to live nudibranchs and other mollusks, this exhibit features nudibranchs depicted in onyx and marble sculptures by Gar Waterman of New Haven, as well as nudibranch photographs by underwater photographers from all around the world including Gordon Tillen, Keith Ellenbogen, Kevin Lee, Alicia Hermosilla, Emanuel Gonçalves and Jim Anderson. Click here to learn more about the artists featured in this exhibit.
Besides the live nudibranchs, “A Slug’s Life” will display an assortment of other live mollusks in diverse shapes and sizes – some with shells, some without – including a common octopus, sea hares, conchs, abalone, giant clams and Indo-Pacific snails.
Nudibranchs are generally less than 3 inches long. Because these tiny creatures react very quickly to environmental change, they’re considered by scientists to be an “indicator species.” Plus, the exhibit will include a display of live freshwater mussels, another “indicator species” that – as a group – are considered the most endangered animals in North America.
By popular demand, this special exhibit will remain open into October!