The re-energized focus on Long Island Sound's story is obvious in the colorfully redesigned main hall, which has been renamed Newman's Own Hall in celebration of a $1.2 million grant from Newman's Own Foundation."
–  The Norwalk Citizen

Exhibits & Animals

Blue Crab Fun Fact

Blue crabs are good swimmers. Their specially adapted pair of back legs are "swimmerets" that help move them effectively through the water.



Animals w-out Passports1 4web

"Animals Without Passports" exhibit

Open now through Jan. 2, 2017

The large humpback whale population in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary off Cape Cod supports a popular whale-watching industry. And, for the first time in decades, at least three whales spent the late summer of 2015 in western Long Island Sound.

But humpbacks aren’t in New England waters year-round and their annual international migration is the focus of the special exhibit, “Animals Without Passports."

Displays explore the challenges of humpback whales’ annual 3,000-mile roundtrip migration between New England and the Caribbean. Learn when and why the whales migrate, and the hazards they face as they cross ocean borders, including being entangled in fishing gear, being hit by boats and ships, and encountering pollution, loud noises and degraded habitats.

The exhibit is installed in the lobby of The Maritime Aquarium’s IMAX® Theater because it is a perfect tie-in to the movie “Humpback Whales,” showing daily through May 26.

“Animals Without Passports” tells its story by focusing on one whale, a female humpback named Salt who has been studied by researchers for 40 years. Trace Salt’s “family tree” as you also learn how scientists identify and track individual whales. Learn how New England's only national marine sanctuary partners with sister sanctuaries along the charismatic species' migratory route.


Dragons! Real or Myth?

See a baby black dragon – one of only an estimated 31 in the U.S. – in the only place in the country to exhibit one: in our new special exhibit, “Dragons! Real or Myth?"

See animals of land and sea, all with the word "dragon" in their names. 

Explore facts and fictions about mythological dragons and their roles in cultures throughout time. Find similarities between real live dragons and fire-breathing dragons of lore.

Entry into “Dragons! Real or Myth?” is free with Aquarium admission.

The dragons are on exhibit in the the same area as the Meerkats.

The nine varieties of real dragons in our new exhibit include:

Aquar.Dragons.BlackDragon1 copyBlack Dragon
(Varanus salvato macromaculatus)

This very rare black dragon is a melanistic form of the Asian water monitor lizard. Opposite of an albino (no pigment) this animal's body produces an overabundance of pigment, making the animal nearly solid black.Black dragons can grow to become very large muscular lizards, averaging 5-6 feet in length and weighing over 60 pounds! 

weedy 4webWeedy Sea Dragon
(Phyllopteryx taeniolatus)

Very delicate fish found in Australia’s southern coast. They live in coral reefs and seaweed beds, to which they are perfectly camouflaged. 



Jiggle A Jelly touch-a-jellyfish exhibit 

Do something you've tried to NOT do all your life:  touch jellyfish!

Gently touch the tops of live moon jellies as they pulse in the exhibit.  One of our trained volunteers will guide you.

How is this possible without being stung? The stinging cells of moon jellyfish are known to be relatively benign for most people.



"They're so cuuuuute!"  Meet a family of meerkats, one of Africa’s most entertaining species.


First popularized by the comical sidekick Timon in Disney’s “The Lion King” and then celebrated in the Animal Planet television series “Meerkat Manor” (2005-2009), meerkats are members of the mongoose family that live in social “mobs” or “gangs” in burrows in the African Kalahari Desert.

No mere cats, meerkats (Suricata suricatta) are fascinating for living in structured but cooperative societies, including a foraging strategy where adults take turns standing guard upright on their hind feet, watching for predators, while the others eat.

meerkat for web

Meet six sibling meerkats – three males, three females. A viewing bubble even lets young visitors stand up right among the meerkats.

Visit our Meerkat web cam

pdfMeerkat Activity Sheet



Mission: The Maritime Aquarium inspires people of all ages to appreciate and protect
the Long Island Sound ecosystem and the global environment through living exhibits,
marine science, and environmental education.

10 North Water Street  •  Norwalk, CT 06854
Tel: 203-852-0700

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.

© 2016 The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk


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