Thursday, March 17, 2016

Members-Exclusive Deal for Kurios by Cirque du Soleil

Special offer for members: $30 kids ticket with purchase of full price adult ticket!  

Share the experience today with $30 kids tickets. Don’t miss the show that was declared a Critic’s Choice by the Los Angeles Times. Delve into the world of Kurios, where seeing is disbelieving. Kurios is now playing under the iconic blue and yellow big top at Suffolk Downs through July 10.

CLICK HERE to take take advantage of this offer.

OfferDisclaimers: Offer valid on select show dates and times while supplies last.  This offer may not be combined with other offers or applied to previously purchased tickets. 

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The New England Right Whale Festival

Join us!

Sunday, May 1, 2016
11 a.m. – 3 p.m.

The New England Right Whale Festival is a celebration of the current efforts to save North Atlantic right whales from extinction. The New England Aquarium is teaming up with the Adams School Calvineers, of Castine, Maine, to invite the public to learn from local scientists, researchers, and educators about the efforts taking place in our backyard to protect this highly endangered species.

There are fewer than 550 right whales alive today

The festival will take place at the Aquarium's Harbor View Terrace Tent from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., rain or shine. There will be opportunities to learn more about right whales, meet right whale scientists, and take part in family-friendly activities. The event is free; Aquarium admission is not included. 

Some of the organizations that will be joining us include:
  • The Adams School Calvineers of Castine, Maine
  • New England Aquarium Right Whale Research Team
  • New Bedford Whaling Museum
  • Whale and Dolphin Conservation
  • And many more with activities for everyone!

If your organization works for right whales and would like to participate, please fill out this registration form by April 8, 2016. Each organization is asked to provide a hands-on activity to help engage families in the group's mission. But never fear, you do not need to have programming planned. The Education department at the New England Aquarium can work with you on how to present your work in a family-friendly way.

Feeling Green: Celebrating St. Patrick's Day Aquarium-style

St. Patrick's Day comes once a year, and it gives many Aquarium animals an opportunity to bask in the limelight a bit. These are our most St. Patrick's Day animals, the greenest of the green, the perfect animals to get you in the mood for all the soda bread and green-tinged milkshakes.

Green Sea Turtle (Chelonia mydas)

Myrtle the green sea turtle always eats her greens | Photo: Esther Horvath
Seeing Myrtle the green sea turtle is a highlight of any visit to the Aquarium. And at 550 pounds, she's not hard to miss. Get more Myrtle on the Divers Blog.

Green Moray Eel (Gymnothorax funebris)

The divers are always careful when working with the moray eels, what with the eel's razor sharp teeth and all.

Green morays may look menacing, but they are fairly docile animals. We offer them food every day (though some eels will not eat for weeks on end), and because of that we are quick to notice any odd behavior or physical issues. See how a moray eel—with all those teeth—gets a check-up at the Aquarium.

Green anaconda (Eunectes murinus)

Snakes to celebrate St. Patrick's Day — the irony is not lost on us
The adult green anacondas shed between five and eight times a year. Learn more about the process of shedding (think: sliding off a tube sock).

Green sea urchin (Strongylocentrus droebachiensis)

Find a green sea urchin in our Northern Waters gallery and our tidepool touch tank
The sea urchin shell is made of calcium carbonate, and its spherical body is protected by hundreds of spines. Between the spines are tiny suction cups, or tube feet, which are used for locomotion. Learn some more interesting tidbits about this local species.

Can you find even more green at the Aquarium? There is lots!

Maybe you can spot a green ID band on the wing of a penguin.

Look for penguins wearing a green bands!
Or how about the bold green and black poison dart frog. How about the emerald color of the six line wrasse? Find us on social and tell us what Aquarium animals is helping you add green to your month. We're on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube and Google+!

Here at the Aquarium, it's easy being green. Come celebrate St. Patrick's Day with us at the New England Aquarium. Buy your tickets online and head inside to see the greenest of the green animals on our blue planet.

More Underwater Video of Nearly Unknown Whale Species

Nearly Twice as Many Omura’s Whales Sighted off Madagascar Than All Previous Years Combined

The mystery surrounding a nearly unknown whale species is slowly being revealed as a New England Aquarium scientist has released underwater video and new information from his November field season among the Omura’s whales of Madagascar. Dr. Salvatore Cerchio led a team of Malagasy and American whale biologists that found the largest aggregation of the 33-38 foot, tropical whales that has ever been seen.

Omura's whale mother and calf
Click here to download

Last October, Cerchio had released the first ever confirmed video of live Omura’s whales in the wild, and those first time images generated waves across the Internet and international mass media. The following month, the Cape Cod-based researcher returned to the isolated northwest coast of Madagascar to continue his study of these small, relatively slender, grey whales with uneven coloring around their heads.

Cerchio has been studying marine mammals around Madagascar since 2004, but this past trip was a whale jackpot. When he arrived, the local boat operators in Nosy Be reported unprecedented levels of “tiny shrimp” in the water. The shrimp were actually euphausiids, a tropical type of krill that will be identified to the species level with ongoing lab work.

Omura's whale surfaces after feeding lunge
Click here to download

Lots of food anywhere in the animal kingdom usually attracts lots of animals to feed on it, and consequently the Omura’s whales were seen in record numbers. Over the previous four years, Cerchio and his team had documented 44 individual sightings of these extremely rare whales. Last November, they made 80 individual sightings in just a month or nearly double the combined entire research record.

There were other important scientific observations made. The Omura’s feeding behavior was seen frequently and videotaped. Five mother/calf pairs were counted, which is a record. A specific female was identified for the third time in four years which indicates that the population might be resident or at the least uses the same habitat annually. The team collected two weeks of continuous acoustic data from remote recorders including dense choruses of Omura’s songs. This is the start of the first long term passive acoustic monitoring for Omura’s or for any whale species in this region.

The new underwater video shows feeding, mother/calf pairs and the species’ distinct irregular marking and colorings around their head.

Click here to download [642 MB .mov]

VIDEO OF FEEDING: The large, round bulge below the jaw seen in some of the video is the Omura expanding its long throat pleats so that it can engorge a tremendous amount of water and krill, trap the food on its baleen, expel the water and then swallow it. These throat pleats are common to the rorqual family of whales which includes the giant blue whales and the acrobatic humpbacks.

VIDEO OF MOTHER/CALFS: The video with two whales is of mothers and calves A record five calves were sighted.

VIDEO OF UNUSUAL MARKINGS AND COLORING: Some of the video shot from the side and above clearly shows the uneven coloring and marking near the head that helps distinguishes this species. The only whale with a similar pattern are fin whales, but they are commonly 60-70 feet in length and primarily live in cold waters versus the diminutive Omura’s that are just 33 to 38 feet in length and make tropical seas their home. An alternative name for Omura’s whale is the dwarf fin whale.

Just last year was the first time these whales have been recorded in the wild. The video made waves across the internet when we shared it last year. This YouTube clip has garnered more than 790,000 views!

Dr. Cerchio will return to Madagascar in May, and his research was funded by the U.S. Marine Mammal Commission.

For more information on Omura’s whales and Dr. Cerchio’s research, visit And for an in depth feel for his research in Madagascar, head over to the Explorers Blog for more pictures and dispatches from the field.