"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.

sharks-cr2-photo2Yes, there are sharks in Long Island Sound and this is the biggest of four native species. (The other three are brown sharks and two species of dogfish sharks. Certainly, even more species of sharks visit the Sound; they just aren’t considered native to it.)

Don’t worry about dipping your toes in the Sound, though. The last recorded shark attack was a non-fatal nip in 1961 by an undetermined species, off of Long Island’s north shore.  

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otter.Levi.4webSort of like a 3-year-old human, river otters are constantly in motion … until the need for a quick nap. They’re cute and very fun to watch, but good luck getting them to stay still for a photo!

River otters are common in Connecticut; even in busy Fairfield County. But note that our otters are displayed in the Aquarium's Watershed Gallery. Unlike sea otters of the Pacific coast, river otters do not venture into the salty Sound.

 

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franklinSnapping turtles are common in Connecticut and New York. They can also be found in eastern Canada, central and eastern U.S., throughout Mexico and down into Central America.

They prefer still, slow and shallow waters with vegetation to hide in, but can also be found at the edges of deeper lakes and rivers. 

Unlike many other freshwater turtle species, snapping turtles do not bask in the sun. They also can't withdraw into their shell like other turtles - which is why they 'snap' in defense.

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bearded dragonNative to Austrailia's deserts, bearded dragons (Pogona sp.) are medium-sized lizards (1 to 2 feet long) with rows of soft spikes under their chin and down the sides of their flat bodies. Their tails make up about half the total length of their bodies.

Bearded Dragons are a calm, relaxed but alert lizard. It's these qualities that make bearded dragons popular in the pet-lizard trade. You'll find them available in stores, at reptile expos and on breeders' websites.

But it takes a serious commitment to be a responsible owner of a bearded dragon. Beardies can live for 6 to 10 years - and some have lived twice that long!

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striped bassStriped bass (Morone saxatilus) are found in waters from Canada all the way down to northern Florida. They can grow up to 59 inches.

Striped bass move into fresh or brackish water in the spring to spawn. But they don't go as far up-stream as spawning Atlantic salmon, so stripers were not as dramatically affected by the construction of dams.

What DID affect their numbers was overfishing. Strict federal and state management rules implemented in the mid-1980s helped to restore striper stocks by 1995 - what the National Marine Fisheries Service calls "the most significant recovery documented for a coastal finfish species."

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