Thursday, December 30, 2010

Cownose rays move one step closer to Aquarium

A fever of cownose rays is comfortably swimming around their new home at the Aquarium's Animal Care Center. [The Marine Animal Rescue team also uses this facility to care for stranded sea turtles. Learn more on the Rescue Blog!] That's after Aquarium biologists successfully transported the rays from an offsite facility in Duxbury to the new large holding facility in Quincy. And the Patriot Ledger was there!

Cownose rays circling around their new tank at the Aquarium's Animal Care Center in Quincy.

Check out the Patriot Ledger article for more information and to see some of their pictures from the recent event. You can also go behind the scenes with this fantastic video!

Aquarium blog followers may remember that some of our aquarists and educators traveled south to Delaware to gather the rays earlier this fall. [Visit the Global Explorers blog for more on this successful expedition!] The rays are destined for a new exhibit coming in April—the largest shark and ray touch tank on the East Coast!  

Aquarium members will be given early opportunities to preview the new exhibit. Become a member today and be among the first people invited to touch the sharks and rays!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Penguins on ice!

Each year, the Aquarium puts up the first ice sculpture of First Night festivities on Dec. 26. This year, the sculptures went up on Sunday morning but were only seen by the public for a couple of hours. As snow started to fall and the wind whipped with the onset of the blizzard, the ice penguins were promptly wrapped up in insulated tarps to weather the storm. You can learn about these very special storm preparations in news reports from the Boston Herald, NPR and WCVB Channel 5.

Today, ice sculptor Don Chapelle cut them out of their snuggly wraps for the public to enjoy once again. And folks certainly are enjoying them. Take a look at the once-again unveiled penguin ice sculpture on the Aquarium's plaza!

The ice sculptures are giant replicas of four different penguins that live at the Aquarium. The tallest is of an African penguin named Roast Beef which tops out at 5 feet. At 4 feet-plus are Diego and Pebble, a pair of rockhopper penguins from South America. The smallest ice sculpture at just over 3 feet is of Lillico, a little blue penguin from Australia, which is the smallest penguin species in the world.

You might recognize these particular birds from the eye-catching advertising campaign that graced subways and billboards around town this summer. Come on down to see the sculptures yourself. While you're here, head inside to meet the real birds in the Aquarium's Penguin exhibit. Hope to see you!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A cool way to celebrate the solstice!

Our friends at the Greenway Conservancy are helping to put some twinkly cheer into the longest night of the year! Don your winter's warmest and head down to the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway tomorrow (Tuesday, December 21) to celebrate the grand unveiling of Bright Lights for Winter Nights, a three month public art and lighting display.


The Conservancy, the City of Boston and local residents are inviting people to bundle up and stroll the Greenway between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to enjoy music and activities for all ages. Be on the lookout for a very special ice sculpture of the penguin variety, just steps from the Aquarium! There will also be bell ringers and carolers, dancing and trolley rides. You might even find hot cocoa samples to warm your fingers!

Check the Greenway's website for the schedule and a complete list of activities.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

And the nominees are...

Inceptionnow playing at the Aquarium's Simons IMAX Theatre—has been nominated for four Golden Globes, including best drama! Now there's even more incentive to indulge in this feast of special effects and the mind-boggling story line, nominated for best screenplay. [Click here to see the trailer!]

Be blown away by crystal clear images of massive dreamscapes and surreal action sequences splayed across the largest screen in New England. The film follows Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and a team of expert information extractors as they freefall through a series of surreal mazes in an effort to manipulate reality in this wild thriller. Acclaimed director Christopher Nolan has been nominated for best director. Hans Zimmer's sound track was also nominated for best original score.

Don't miss out on this Golden Globe-nominated cinema spectacular! Click here to buy tickets. This film is rated PG-13.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Turtles Take to the Air

Sea turtles spend most of their lives in the ocean. So it was an unusual sight to see 20 of these remarkable creatures take flight—in the care of U.S. Coast Guard pilots, that is.

Several media outlets braved the rain to see the turtles off on their momentous journey from drizzly Hanscomb Air Force Base to balmy Florida, where they will continue their recovery at SeaWorld Orlando.

In case you missed it, check out some local news stories about this collaborative mission! 
WCVB Channel 5
WHDH Channel 7
Cape Cod Times

The special airlift made news in Florida, too! 

Also, check out Connie's blog post for the full account of the turtles' journey! See pictures take by the U.S. Coast Guard here.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

So why should we help turtles?

Connie Merigo, director of the Aquarium's Marine Animal Rescue and Rehabilitation program, spoke to Robin Young on NPR's Here and Now this afternoon. In the radio broadcast, heard across the country, Connie explains to listeners why rescuers go to great lengths to save critically endangered sea turtles — like Kemp's ridley and green sea turtles.

Click here to listen.

Keep up with all the sea turtle patients at the Aquarium's Animal Care Center in Quincy on the Rescue Blog. You'll find pictures, video and plenty of stories from the front lines of this record sea turtle stranding event.

Monday, December 6, 2010

As numbers rise, sea turtles patients in the news

Sea turtles are certainly on many minds these days. In addition to the rescue team and volunteers working long hours caring for these endangered rescuees, media has also been interested in their well-being.

Swimming in turtles

Today, The Boston Globe took readers to the chilly beaches of Cape Cod where the helpless and hypothermic sea turtles are washing ashore. Read more about rescue efforts, on the Cape and in Quincy where Aquarium rescuers are treating the new arrivals, in this Globe article.

Photo credit: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe

Turtle fans might also be interested in a Cape Cod Times article about the new facility in Quincy. Where workers once manufactured piping for huge seafaring ships, now Aquarium teams are caring for those sea turtles rescued from the chilly seas, as well as cownose rays and bonnethead sharks. You'll read how the facility came on line just in the nick of time!

Photo credit: Steve Heaslip/Cape Cod Times

Be sure to keep up with the Rescue Blog for the latest news and numbers from Quincy. So far more than 115 have been treated by Aquarium rescuers! The men and women caring for these vulnerable animals are an inspirational bunch. Wanna help? Learn how you and your cell phone can support the Aquarium as rescuers care for endangered species.

Friday, December 3, 2010

First class flight to Baltimore for some rescued sea turtles

Yesterday, five of the dozens of rescued sea turtles that are being treated at the Aquarium's new Animal Care Center in Quincy took a big step in their rehabilitation. So far it has been an extremely busy sea turtle rescue season. The large numbers of animals coming to the Aquarium for care has been covered recently by The Boston Globe and WCVB (includes a news video).

Some of the sea turtles being cared for at the Aquarium's Animal Care Center in Quincy. (Photo: Meg Rabinowitz)

The animals were stable enough to be transported to the National Aquarium in Baltimore to continue their treatment. The sea turtles caught a ride to Norwood Memorial Airport in the Marine Animal Rescue Team van, then were placed on a Civil Air Patrol flight operated by volunteer pilots for the trip to Baltimore.

The Marine Animal Rescue Team van, with five turtles on board, arrives at the plane. (Photo: Meg Rabinowitz)

Connie Merigo, director of the Aquarium's Rescue and Rehab program, unloading snuggly boxed up turtles from the van. (Photo: Meg Rabinowitz)

Katy Roberts, taking a break from her usual Aquarium job as a grant writer, lends a hand. (Photo: Meg Rabinowitz)

Connie confers with one of the pilots after the turtles are loaded onto the plane. (Photo: Meg Rabinowitz)

And off they go. (Photo: Meg Rabinowitz)

You can keep up with all of the rescue team's efforts and interact with the rescuers on the Marine Animal Rescue Team Blog.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Researchers search for elusive right whale mating grounds

by Amanda Thompson

When winter approaches, New England Aquarium’s right whale researchers normally leave the freezing waters of northern Maine. But not this year! The Aquarium and the Canadian Whale Institute (CWI) are chartering a vessel from Bar Harbor, ME, to, as researcher Moira Brown says, "go on a quest to find the elusive North Atlantic right whale mating ground!"

Researchers scan the fog for right whales.

On this quest researchers will brave the winter elements to survey the area from the coast of Bar Harbor through the Jordan Basin. Their goal is to collect photographs of right whales for individual identification, scarring and health assessment as well as skin biopsy samples for ongoing genetics studies, and fecal samples for studies on reproductive hormones.

There will be four trips out to sea in total and they will be conducted from November through early January, the dates will be determined by the weather. Funding for this field study has been provided by the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission (through a grant to the Aquarium) and the Canadian Wildlife Federation and TD Bank (through a grant to CWI).

See how the weather is cooperating and read more about this exciting search hunt for the mysterious North Atlantic right whale mating ground with posts from the Jordan Basin on the Right Whale Blog!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Aquarium's New Animal Care Center in Quincy Hosts Open House for Donors

24 rescued sea turtles, 9 baby bonnethead sharks and a school of cownose rays among first residents of new $3.7 million facility

Quincy, Mass. - November 18, 2010
The 240 by 100 foot brick industrial building was formerly used in shipbuilding, but it is now the futuristic looking home to dozens of rescued and endangered sea turtles, [Note: The number of sea turtles now convalescing in Quincy has drastically increased! Get the latest on patient counts on the Rescue Blog.] a school of cownose rays, and a nursery for nine baby bonnethead sharks. The New England Aquarium tonight will host an informal open house for trustees and donors of its new Animal Care Center in the Quincy Shipyard. The new $3.7 million facility is the new state of the art, private, offsite holding facility for the Boston aquarium.

A rescued sea turtle is examined for treatment at the Animal Care Center. Click on photo for hi-res version. (Photo: C. Leblanc)

Left: A sand tiger shark swims in a holding take.
Right: A rescued sea turtle rests on a towel while being examined.
Click on photos for hi-res versions. (Photos: C. Leblanc)

The New England Aquarium is located on Central Wharf in dense, downtown Boston where it dedicates as much space as possible for exhibit and visitor uses. There had been a desire for an off-site holding facility for rescued marine animals, animals in quarantine and for animals that were arriving for later display. After a year long search, the Aquarium came to an agreement with Quincy Shipyard owner Jay Cashman to renovate one of the old fabrication plants in the stories South Shore shipyard. Construction began in September 2009 and is still ongoing, but the new facility is nearly up to full operations with the onset of the cold stunned sea turtle stranding season on Cape Cod.

Here's some video footage of the Animal Care Center from The Boston Globe:

Friday, October 29, 2010

The Story Beyond the Headlines: Rare Shark Encounter in Maine

A former Boston TV news editor and a professional outdoorsman for 20 years, Tony LaCasse gets to combine his two great interests in his job as the Aquarium’s media relations director. He aspires to be one of the Aquarium’s journalists and gets to tell many of the great stories here and to interpret events in the wider aquatic world.

This past weekend, a commercial diver off of Eastport, Maine, had a scary and strange encounter with a large shark. Scott MacNichol was videotaping the sea bottom below an empty salmon pen when he saw an 8-foot shark approach and had to eventually fend it off with his camera. He hurriedly returned to his boat. In the mayhem, he shot about 20 seconds of video.

Stills from the 20-second porbeagle shark encounter video. The full video can be viewed on the Bangor Daily News website. (Photo: Mer Assessment Corp.)

The video is not the stuff of shark nature shows, but it offers some clues in identifying the species. Early in the video, you can see a couple of seconds of the shark's full body, which is fairly stout but also has a distinct white patch at the rear base of the dorsal or back fin. This is the key identifying characteristic of a porbeagle shark, which is a cold water shark.

Porbeagle shark rendering (Source: NOAA)

Above all, we are thankful for the safety of Scott MacNichol. He is remarkably composed and insightful. However, there are a number of unusual aspects of this story. Shark encounters are very uncommon in New England but even more so for Maine. Despite its spectacular coastline, shark densities are fairly low there. The most common sharks seen there are blue sharks, seen mostly in the summer, filter-feeding basking sharks and porbeagles.

Porbeagles are truly a cold water shark as they have the ability to maintain a core body temperature many degrees above the surrounding water temperature. That is an unusual physiological capability for a shark. Most shark species visiting New England migrate south as the water cools. Porbeagles actually do not like warm water. Their primary habitat is off the Maritime Provinces of Canada and the cooler waters of New England.

Porbeagles' main diet is herring, mackerel and other schooling fish. Humans are not on their menu, but any large shark can be dangerous. The International Shark Attack Files (ISAF) based out of the Florida Museum of Natural History, collects data from around the world on human/shark incidents.

Porbeagle population distribution map (Florida Museum of Natural History)

ISAF records show that despite the porbeagle's distribution around the cooler waters of the world, there have only been two recorded incidents and interestingly enough, both involve divers in non-fatal encounters in Canada and off of Great Britain. One of those incidents happened in Nova Scotia in 2000 when a diver collecting sea urchins had his harvest bag grabbed by a porbeagle while his hand was still entangled. Their several minute struggle is described on a website about sharks in New England that is maintained by Captain Tom King, a charter boat fisherman out of Scituate. The website is well regarded by biologists, although the squeamish should be advised that it is a fishing website and has many images of landed sharks that are dead. Here's the link.

Explaining the shark's behavior is difficult and at best, informed conjecture. Commercial divers in Maine do see porbeagles and very rarely have a problem. People are way off the size scale of these sharks' normal prey items, and most wildlife have a very clear instinct that human beings can be dangerous to them.

Porbeagles consume groundfish such as flounders (Florida Museum of Natural History)

The diver's colleague speculated that the electronic signal created by the video camera and its flashy metal casing might have confused the shark as to whether the camera was a fish in distress. Sharks, unlike human beings and most other fish species, truly have a sixth sense called electroreception. Sharks have sensory organs that allow them to detect low-frequency electrical fields. This helps them hunt in low light or detect prey items buried in the sand.

The porbeagles in the Nova Scotia and Maine incident reports displayed a common behavior: appearing to be interested in what was in the diver's hand--a sea urchin harvest bag and the camera, possible food items. Divers are often advised to give up perceived food items and to minimize the amount of shininess on any gear so as to reduce the chance of it reflecting light the way that fish scales do. In both of these situations, the divers handled themselves very well. For a comprehensive description of what divers should do around sharks visit the ISAF divers tips page.

Porbeagles are a much more rare sight than they were once were. Greg Skomal, Massachusetts shark biologist, noted in his new book, The Shark Handbook, that Norwegian fisherman targeted the porbeagle population off the North American East Coast in the 1960s, catching up to 18 million pounds per year or 90,000 sharks annually. As is to be expected, the population crashed, and commercial fishing was no longer viable.

Porbeagle shark being caught (Photo: NOAA)

The recovery of a shark population can take much longer than that of most other fish species. Most shark species become sexually mature at much older ages and then have only a few live young born each year versus thousands of eggs dispatched by many other fish species. Overharvested shark populations can take decades to recover. Porbeagles are listed on a global level as vulnerable, and Skomal estimates that the regional porbeagle population is about one tenth of its peak size. There is a still commercial harvest of porbeagles in Canada, and porbeagles are a prized target of recreational and charter shark fishermen in U. S. waters.


Monday, October 25, 2010

More Halloween treat than trick at the Aquarium!

With spooky eels gliding about the Giant Ocean Tank and lionfish lurking in the tropical gallery, let the Aquarium add some spooky to your family's Halloween activities. And there's an extra special TREAT in store for festive families! The New England Aquarium and Boston DUCK Tours based at the Aquarium are teaming up to offer kids 11 and younger in costume and accompanied by a paying adult, FREE admission on Halloween day. That's Sunday, October 31!

Photo credit: J. Fillman

The Aquarium’s four-story Giant Ocean Tank will be decorated with jack-o'-lanterns nestled amid on the corals, and the scuba divers will be in their soggy Halloween best! Aquarium hours on Sunday, October 31, are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Once you've had your fill of the fascinating creatures of the deep, hit the streets with a Boston DUCK Tour! Board a DUCK based at the Aquarium to tour the Hub in one of the weirdest yet coolest vehicles ever made. DUCK drivers, or ConDUCKtors, are in costume and character every day. Free admission is only for chaperoned kids in costume on the Boston tours leaving from the Aquarium, not from any other DUCK Tour sites. Boston DUCK Tours will operate at the Aquarium from 12 noon to 5:30 p.m.

Have a happy and safe Halloween!

Children 11 years old and younger must be in costume in order to take advantage of this special offer. Children in costume without a supervising adult will not be admitted. Free admission is for the Aquarium and the Boston DUCK Tours leaving from the Aquarium only, and does not apply to the Simons IMAX Theatre or Whale Watch.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Harbor seal returns to Boston Harbor

There will be one less spectator at the Head of the Charles this weekend. The curious harbor seal that was cruising about the Charles River basin this week has found its way back to Boston Harbor, thanks to quick thinking from the lock keepers with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. (Check out previous sightings of the seal in this blog post, complete with video of the seal interrupting a sailing practice!)

Knowing that the seal was looking to find its way back to the harbor, the lock keepers had been keeping an eye out for the freshwater visitor. Sure enough, the seal found its way into the locks around 2 p.m. on Friday afternoon.

The locks are just east of the Zakim Bridge and the TD Banknorth Garden

The gate keepers kept the seal in the locks for less than an hour so that Aquarium staff could make sure that it was still healthy and alert. Then it was time to release the floodgates. With a quiet splash and a ripple, the seal slipped into Boston Harbor through the open locks.

Take a look at this video of the seal during the short time it was still in the locks!

The seal definitely made waves in the local media, too. Check out its moment in the spotlight on NECN , here and here, WCVB Channel 5 and USA Today. Look for the healthy swimmer on the local news tonight, too!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Wrong Way Seal in the Charles River!

The Head of the Charles Regatta Will Have a Unique Head in the Charles

Cambridge, Mass. - October 21, 2010
Seeing a seal in Boston is not an uncommon event whether on a trip to the Aquarium or on a cruise by the outer Boston Harbor Islands. What is unusual is to see a seal in the freshwater section of the Charles River above the dam and locks that create the beautiful basin that lies between Boston and Cambridge. That has been the double-take experience of Boston Duck Tour operators, the M.I.T. sailing coach and staff at Community Boating over the last several days.

The animal appears to be a young harbor seal that slipped through the boat locks just east of the Zakim Bridge late last week. It was first spotted last Friday afternoon by a Boston Duck Tour operator in the water east of the Museum of Science. The seal was spotted again by Duck Tour operators on Sunday and Monday afternoons. Tuesday afternoon, Matt Lindblad, MIT's sailing coach, was on the water videotaping his practice when a curious head popped up in the middle of the river among his sailors east of the Mass Ave. bridge. Click play to see the head pop up in this video.

Wednesday afternoon, staff at Community Boating, just off Storrow Drive, were pulling moorings from the water when they encountered an unexpected visitor. All of the seal watchers have reported the animal as active, alert and appearing healthy.

With this weekend’s upcoming Head of the Charles Regatta, Aquarium officials are seeking the public’s help in keeping our wrong-way seal safe. Since the animal is vigorous and in good condition, wildlife officials would prefer that the young harbor seal exit via the locks. The regatta will lead to an increased amount of recreational boat traffic on the Charles and increased opportunities for the seal to make his freshwater escape. The Charles River Dam Locks are operated by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), and the state is cooperating fully.

The seal is very active and is moving throughout the Lower Basin of the Charles, well below the location of this weekend's races. The public can help by insuring that the seal is not harassed by either ignorant or well meaning people. Seals are protected under federal law, and people are not allowed to disturb them on the water or on land.

  • Enjoy the seal, but please watch safely from at least 150 feet away.
  • Do not offer the seal food. Unfamiliar food is not good for it.
  • If on the water, do not approach the seal. If operating a motorboat and the seal appears nearby, reduce speed, watch carefully, and cut the engine if the props are a potential hazard to the seal.
  • Do not try to make the seal move.
  • Keep dogs away from the seal.
  • If the seal hauls out of the water which is very unlikely, please call the Aquarium’s Marine Animal Hotline at 617-973-5247. On water sightings need not be reported unless the seal is in distress.
Harassing or disturbing a seal is a federal crime that is enforced, and violators are subject to a large fine. More importantly during the Head of the Charles, Boston has a history of providing great hospitality for tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world. This year, we just happen to have a very unique guest, and we are confident that the public can help in providing this seal with a safe space during such a spectacular event in Boston.

[Note: This seal later returned safely to Boston Harbor. This is not the first time a wild seal has visited downtown Boston. In January of 2009, a wild harp seal visited Central Wharf, less than a block away from the Aquarium.]

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tune in to some deep blue science!

Living beneath the waves in a yellow submarine... it's not just a catchy tune, it's real-life science coming live to a computer near you! Students and ocean-lovers around the world are plugging in to Aquarius 2010: If Reefs Could Talk, a series of live webcasts broadcast from the Aquarius lab. And you can, too. Tune in for these unique daily broadcasts from the depths of the deep blue through October 21!

Greg Stone, former Vice President of Global Marine Programs at the Aquarium, looks out of Aquarius in this 2002 photograph. Photo credit: Brian Skerry, National Geographic

This special laboratory is located off the coast of Key Largo, 60 feet underwater in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The scientific researchers or "aquanauts" that live in Aquarius, as well as scientists operating from the surface, will be sharing their experience and intimate knowledge of the ocean while performing their latest mission on board the Aquarius.

Aquarius mit Tauchglocke
Photo credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

Check the schedule for broadcast times and topics. See what a day in the life of a reef fish is like, learn what kinds of cool tools researchers are using in their underwater world, tackle tough issues like climate change and threats to our oceans and discover how you can prepare for a career in marine science. You can even post comments and questions on NOAA's Office of National Marine Sanctuaries facebook and twitter pages!

If these Aquarius adventures are just whetting your appetite for information about this underwater laboratory, you should checkout this book for kids ages 10 and older! Written by longtime Aquarium Editor-in-Chief Ken Mallory, you'll find fascinating details about what it's like to live underwater, listening to the crackle of shrimp pinging through the walls, as well as gripping photographs by Aquarium Explorer in Residence Brian Skerry.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

A Vision for a Beautiful Place

A 10-year vision for marine research in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA) has been completed!

PIPA, which is widely known as one of the largest marine protected areas and was recently celebrated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has captured the attention of scientists and researchers all over the world. PIPA's remote location and relative isolation make it a natural laboratory for researchers.

With the help of New England Aquarium coral reef researchers Randi Rotjan and David Obura and the rest of the PIPA Scientific Advisory Board, three major research themes to pursue have emerged: 1) exploration, 2) connectivity within the marine ecosystem and 3) reef resilience and recovery.

Previous research has shown that that reefs located within PIPA have demonstrated an ability to recover from thermal stressors. Studying the reef's recovery without the additional stressors of local human impacts will help scientists to determine what is needed to help reefs recover in other parts of the world.

To read more about the research from the PIPA Scientific Advisory Board, check out the Phoenix Islands Blog.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sealed with a kiss

Bedford children’s librarians Sharon McDonald and Nancy Tegeler came to the Aquarium today to bring Chacoda the harbor seal the proceeds from the library’s summer reading program for kids, and what they got in return was priceless.

Chacoda was the mascot this summer for the library’s Undersea Library reading club. McDonald visited Bedford’s elementary schools before the summer began to tell the kids about Chacoda (a.k.a. Chuck); she explained that Chuck is a very smart, very vocal seal and that he eats between 6 and 12 pounds of fish and squid per day. Then she told the kids that those who joined the reading club would set a reading goal at the beginning of the summer, and for each student who reached the goal by September 1, the Friends of the Bedford Library would donate money to Chuck’s fish and squid fund.

“I have found that I get a better reception from the kids when we are doing something for someone else rather than when I’m giving out cheap trinkets as prizes for reading,” McDonald said. “I am delighted to say that we had 207 members of our reading club, a record for the last few years—thanks to Chacoda, I think.”

When McDonald and Tegeler brought the donation to Chuck’s fish fund to the Aquarium, they were invited into the harbor seal exhibit to meet Chacoda. One of Chacoda’s trainers, Paul Bradley, showed McDonald and Tegeler how to brush Chuck’s teeth with an electric toothbrush and how to give him the signal to vocalize. And before they left the exhibit, each librarian got a thank you they’ll never forget: a soft kiss on the cheek from Chacoda.

Learn more about Atlantic harbor seals, and see more videos of Chacoda in action. Find out more about the seals getting their teeth brushed and see video here, here and here.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

See the Aquarium through visitors' eyes!

Visitors can enjoy some amazing moments at the New England Aquarium. We love it when they share those pictures with us on facebook! Here's a smattering of the fascinating, funny, elegant and amazing pictures that our visitors captured on camera.

The Giant Pacific Octopus exploring its tank.

by Anne Young

A sea jelly

A weedy sea dragon showing off its camouflage.

by Olya Scheer

Rockhopper penguins enjoying a spray. (Sprinklers regularly spray down the penguin islands to help keep them clean, learn more about the sprinklers on this Penguin Blog post!)

by Candi Imming

A northern fur seal resting on deck. It looks like he has feet!

by Mike Cook

OK, now it's your turn! Come visit us at the Aquarium, be sure to bring your camera, and then share your spectacular shots with us on facebook.