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Exhibition: Journey with Jellies

Get close to some of the most strangely beautiful ¬– but painfully dangerous – animals in the sea as The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk offers a newly expanded exhibit of jellyfish.With the new “Journey with Jellies” exhibit, The Maritime Aquarium features the most species of jellies in New England.Jellies – as they should be called (not “jellyfish”) because they’re not fish – have been among the most popular animals in The Maritime Aquarium for more than 20 years. This bigger new space builds around the tall centerpiece display of moon jellies, and offers large new displays with such non-native species as brown sea nettles, flower hat jellies, crystal jellies, Japanese sea nettles and more.

“Jellies are among the most simple animals, thriving without a brain, heart, lungs, gills and really any of the other organs that we believe an animal must have to survive,” said John Lenzycki, the Aquarium’s curator of animals. “Yet survive they have, for millions of years, in forms, in colors and in manners of motion that are fascinating.”Jellies, of course, also have stinging cells, and Aquarium guests can learn about how jellies sting and about their unique life cycles.In addition to jellies, this new exhibit space also includes a big new natural habitat for the Aquarium’s giant Pacific octopus, as well as a new display featuring lionfish, a species with a large splay of venomous spines that are a troubling invasive presence on the Atlantic coast.

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