The new exhibit at the Maritime Aquarium highlights a slug’s life facing the climate endgame. Visitors will marvel at the fascinating forms and adaptations of animals from ocean reefs and freshwater streams – and discover the important warnings they can tell us – in this special exhibit that showcases live creatures with their representations in art!
Stars of this new exhibit are a group of mollusks called nudibranchs known for their striking forms and brilliant colors. There are some 3,000 species of nudibranchs throughout the world’s ocean. They are found everywhere from cold-water habitats to tropical waters, and from shallow waters to deeper than 8,000 feet below sea level. (Some two dozen are found in Long Island Sound.)
In addition to live nudibranchs and other mollusks, this exhibit features nudibranchs depicted in onyx and marble sculptures by Gar Waterman of New Haven, as well as nudibranch photographs by divers from all around the world including Gordon Tillen, Keith Ellenbogen, Kevin Lee, Alicia Hermosilla, Emanuel Gonçalves and Jim Anderson.
Besides the live nudibranchs, “A Slug’s Life” will display an assortment of other live mollusks in diverse shapes and sizes – some with shells, some without – including a common octopus, sea hares, conchs, abalone, giant clams, and Indo-Pacific snails.
Nudibranchs are generally less than 3 inches long. Because these tiny creatures react very quickly to environmental change, they’re considered by scientists to be an “indicator species.” Plus, the exhibit will include a display of live freshwater mussels, another “indicator species” that – as a group – are considered the most endangered animals in North America.
This exhibit will be open through June 13, 2021, and is free with Aquarium admission.