Octopuses – along with squid and cuttlefish – are cephalopods (SEFF-a-lo-pods), a class of animals within the mollusk phylum that (among other things) demonstrate the ability to reason.
In The Maritime Aquarium, our giant Pacific octopuses have enjoyed being given puzzles and toys, especially when there is food within. These “enrichments” keep the octopus busy by allowing it to utilize some of the skills that octopuses have developed for survival.
Actually we want you to call them “jellies,” because they’re not fish. Jellies are fascinating and soothing to watch; in The Maritime Aquarium’s display, they’re like a living lava lamp.
Of course it's often NOT soothing to encounter a jelly in the water. In our “Sting” Gallery, the Aquarium presents several native species of jellies.
With their dog-like faces, the harbor seals stir perhaps the most emotion and empathy from Aquarium visitors. Thus, the seals may be the most effective tool in inspiring visitors to do their part in protecting and conserving Long Island Sound.
Harbor seals are the main species of seal that visits Long Island Sound each winter. (Our Seal Spotting Cruises offer the chance to see them.
Meerkats are members of the mongoose family who live primarily in the Kalahari desert. They are highly social animals that function in extended family groups, called mobs.
The tiny meerkats must stay alert to survive in the same environment with fierce (and large) creatures like cheetahs, leopards, lions, eagles, jackels, foxes and cobras, to name a few. Their coloring closely matches the reddish sands of the desert to help them hide.
Black Dragons are a very rare melanistic form of the Asian water monitor lizard. Melanism means that its body produces an overabundance of the pigment melanin, making the animal nearly solid black (it's the opposite of albinism.)
Black Dragons can grow to become very muscular lizards, averaging 5-6 feet in length and weighing over 60 pounds!