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
Wondering what's inside? Find out when our next special exhibit opens on Sat., Jan. 18. Or visit the Aquarium now for some more clues! The Maritime Aquarium will hold a members-only opening event after hours, from 5-8 p.m., on Thurs., Jan. 16 for an exclusive first-look at the exhibit.
The 12th annual “Festival of Lighthouses Contest” features 22 large model lighthouses, all made by local artists, students and hobbyists. Aquarium visitors can enjoy the lighthouses, which will be set up throughout the aquarium galleries, and then vote for their favorite.
The lighthouse with the most votes will win the $1,500 first-place prize. There are other monetary prizes for second- through sixth-places.
(Pictured: last year's winner – David Bishop of New Rochelle, N.Y., with his entry, "Dark Harbor.")
Interested in building a lighthouse for next year? Click on the pdf below and learn more about the contest rules. Be sure to add your email address to our list and watch for next year's brochure in late spring. Lighthouse Brochure-2013-14.pdf
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 Kalahari Desert, in the southern African nations of Botswana and South Africa.
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. As the popular “Meerkat Manor” television series showed, the family-based “mobs” are not lacking in daily drama – from internal relationship issues to battles with other “mobs” encroaching on their territory to the ever-present fear of jackals and eagles.
“These are active animals with very charismatic faces and highly interesting social structures, so they are a lot of fun for visitors to watch,” said Jack Schneider, the Aquarium’s curator of animals.
The exhibit features six sibling meerkats – three males, three females – born in the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake City, Utah. Their Maritime Aquarium habitat offers windows into their underground burrows, so all meerkat activity is within view. A viewing bubble even lets young visitors stand up right among the meerkats.
Meerkats get a pumpkin treat. Watch the video.
Sponsored by Bank of America
See amazing fish from the Nile River, Red Sea, and lakes of Africa’s Great Rift Valley in this exhibit featuring some of the lesser-known but equally fascinating aquatic animals from the African continent. Species highlighted include air-breathing lungfish, catfish that use bioelectricity to sense their surroundings, colorful cichlid fish, and dazzling coral reef fish. Plus, bonus species are giant day geckos, black mud turtles and enormous ground boa snakes.
Interspersed throughout are important messages about animal adaptation, the importance of habitat preservation and conservation, stories that show how fish from the other side of the world face challenges similar to those in Long Island Sound. A great way to “explore” Africa for less than the cost of a tank of gas!