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.
Here at the Maritime Aquarium we have two giant Pacific octopuses on exhibit. They grow bigger and live longer than any other octopus species. On average they grow to about 16 feet and 110 pounds.
Giant Pacific octopuses - along with many members of the octopus family - have special pigment cells in their skin which allow them to change colors and textures to blend into plants, coral and rocks for protection.
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!