Thursday, March 12, 2009

March 2009


Watch! Into the Abyss

National Geographic Channel

Saturday, March 14, 9 p.m. EST

Dr. Greg Stone

At the heart of the Coral Triangle, in an area of the ocean cradled by the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia lies an abundance of life that rivals the tropical rainforests in species richness. This is the Celebes Sea, and the sunlit waters found here boast the highest biodiversity of marine species of any of the oceans light zones. But scientists suspect that the shallow parts of the Celebes Sea only hint at what might be lurking in the abyss a gorge reaching depths of over 20,000 feet below. Now, National Geographic photographer and explorer Dr. Emory Kristof and a team of scientists, including the Aquarium's own Dr. Greg Stone, attempt the first-ever descent into this mysterious basin. But is this really a place that spawns bizarre new life, or will the forbidding expanse prove barren and empty? Watch Into the Abyss to travel with Dr. Stone and the rest of the team, in the hopes of learning the truth about this Crucible of Life.

Before the special airs, you can follow the journey day-by-day by reading the expedition's blog, Exploring the Inner Space of the Celebes Sea.

This Octopus Thinks Inside the Box

The octopus is known to be smart, strong and flexible, but Truman, a one-and-a-half-year-old octopus at the Aquarium, surprised and impressed staff and visitors by squeezing his seven-foot-long body into a 14-inch box in pursuit of a tasty treat!

Truman's caretaker had come up with what was supposed to be a typical feeding session designed to keep Truman active and challenged. He locked some crabs in a small clear cube and placed it into a larger cube in Truman's tank, intending for Truman to release both locks. Instead, the impatiently hungry octopus squeezed his eight muscular legs and large head through a two-inch hole in the exterior box! Truman then worked to undo the latch on the smaller cube and, triumphant, enjoyed his lunch.

Truman the ocopus inside of a box

Watch a slideshow of this remarkable event; it's the first time this behavior has ever been witnessed and photographed at the Aquarium!

Learn more about the giant Pacific octopus, then plan a visit to come see Truman in action.

U2 3D

St. Patrick's Day, Aquarium-Style

You might have grown up listening to old-time Irish bands on St. Patrick's Day, but in 2009 the only way to show off that Irish pride is by getting up-close and personal with U2. Since it's a little too late to book Bono for a private concert, the next best thing is U2 3D, which puts you right on stage with U2 during their Vertigo tour. For anyone who's Irish--and everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day--the only way to celebrate the holiday's festivities is to rock along to music by the world's favorite Irish band while watching them on the largest screen in New England. The film's 3D graphics are so realistic that you stand face-to-face with the band as drum sticks, guitars and Bono's signature sunglasses appear close enough to touch. The Aquarium's Simons IMAX Theatre even serves beer.

U2 3D plays Saturdays at 7 p.m.

Get Down:2:Earth

April 3-5, 2009

Hynes Convention Center, Boston

Find out how to incorporate Earth-friendly products and actions into your life at Down:2:Earth, a marketplace for eco-friendly products, a public stage for community initiatives, and a sustainability education forum. Visit the Aquarium's booth for blue lifestyle tips, including how to make ocean-friendly seafood choices. Plus, you can enter to win a free Aquarium membership, harbor seal training session or behind-the-scenes tour! Stop by Saturday around 2 p.m. to catch a sustainable seafood cooking demonstration by our expert chefs, and make sure to try out some food samples from local restaurants, including the Aquarium, at the Local Bites Preview Party on Friday night. (Proceeds support the Aquarium's Sustainable Seafood Program!)

Blondie the lumpfish

Sit, Lumpfish, Sit!

Our trainers have Blondie, a lumpfish, jumping through hoops to get a snack--literally! Watch Blondie do spins, push a lightweight ball around a tank and swim through hoops on the Marine Mammal Blog.

Sea Turtles: SVU

Orion, one of the endangered Kemp's ridley sea turtles that stranded on Cape Cod last winter, is responding well to treatment at the Aquarium's Sea Turtle Recovery Room, but one of his lungs recently showed signs of an infection. Check out Orion's X-rays, get a peek at his lungs and watch our veterinary staff guide him back to health on the Sea Turtle Rescue Blog.

Spotlight on Research

Right Whales and Calves

The Aquarium's Right Whale Research Team has had an incredibly busy season, which is both the good news and the bad. The team is seeing a record-breaking number of moms and calves swimming in the southeastern U.S. birthing grounds. However, the survey teams have documented five newly entangled whales carrying fixed-fishing rope from as far away as Canada. This is the highest number of serious entanglements documented in such a short period of time, and this development is truly alarming for the right whale population.

Keep up the Right Whale Team in the news:

Searching for Right Whales (Plane, Boat, Land), NBC Nightly News

Spotting Endangered Species from the Skies, CNN

Take a Moment

Please consider making a charitable contribution to the New England Aquarium. We rely on our generous donors to contribute more than 30% of our operating budget. These funds support the educational, conservation and research programs that make the New England Aquarium a leader both locally and globally. We need your support now more than ever. Gifts of any size make a difference!

Please make a donation online today!

Simons IMAX Theatre

Now Playing at the Simons IMAX Theatre

New! Under the Sea

Wild Ocean 3D

Dolphins and Whales 3D: Tribes of the Ocean

The Dark Knight

U2 3D

Dinner and a Movie

Van Gogh: Brush with Genius artwork

Love is in the air this spring, and the Aquarium wants to make sure the perfect date night doesn't empty your wallet. Enjoy an evening of culture, entertainment and great food, all at a great price. Watch our newest IMAX film, Van Gogh: Brush with Genius, and discover the passionate brushwork of a great genius as it comes to life before your eyes. Then, show your Simons IMAX Theatre ticket stubs at conveniently located Sel de la Terre to receive 15 percent off your total bill.

Van Gogh opens April 1 and will play at every night at 7 p.m.

Dive Deeper

March 14

Ocean Detectives

Junior Detectives: Seals

Advanced Detectives: Sensational Seaweed

March 30

Aquarium Lecture Series

The Causes and Consequences of Coral Decline and Some Potentially Encouraging Trends

April 4

Ocean Detectives

Junior Detectives: Sharks

Advanced Detectives: Lobsters

April 5

Ocean Detectives

Squid Dissection

April 6

Aquarium Lecture Series

Coral Reefs

April 13

Aquarium Lecture Series

Coral Reefs

April 18

Earth Day Celebration Beach Cleanup

Marine World in the News