Extreme Habitats: Into the Deep Sea at the Bruce Museum

Extreme Habitats: Into the Deep Sea at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich explores the vast and extraordinary deep sea. This show focuses on the highly adapted survival strategies utilized by creatures of the deep and the technology that enables researchers to record ground-breaking observations of what is often called the last frontier on this planet.

Sea butterfly (Thecosomata)  Photo by Larry Madin © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Sea butterfly (Thecosomata)
Photo by Larry Madin © Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Museum visitors might feel like they are in a deep-sea submersible as they look through view ports to observe the mesopelagic – or twilight zone – of the sea with its bioluminescent inhabitants. The exhibit will show visitors the extremophiles that form the foundation of a hydrothermal vent as well as the bizarre appearances and adaptations of deep-sea species. One of the take aways from experiencing this exhibit is an understanding of the technology that makes deep-sea explorations possible.

Bloodbelly comb jelly (Lampocteis cruentiventer) almost 2000 meters  below the surface in Monterey Canyon.  Photo by MBARI ©2002 MBARI

Bloodbelly comb jelly (Lampocteis cruentiventer) almost 2000 meters
below the surface in Monterey Canyon.
Photo by MBARI ©2002 MBARI

The Bruce Museum has created highly accurate casts of deep-sea organisms such as the Pacific Viperfish, Cock-Eyed Squid, Bloodbelly Comb Jelly, Gulper Eel, Giant Tube Worms, and more, created from molds on loan from the American Museum of Natural History. Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History is lending preserved deep- sea specimens collected from various deep-sea explorations and dives around the globe. The University of Connecticut is assisting with interpretation of the New England seamounts, or underwater mountain ranges. Rare footage of creatures of the deep comes from Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, and Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution is sharing cutting edge information on the deep-sea submersible Alvin as well as their expertise on deep-sea ecosystems around the world.

_Display Background  Bruce Museum Exhibition Preparator Sean Murtha painting  hydrothermal vent display background.  Photo by Sean Murtha

_Display Background
Bruce Museum Exhibition Preparator Sean Murtha painting
hydrothermal vent display background.
Photo by Sean Murtha

The exhibition is the second in a series at the Bruce Museum looking at extreme biological, chemical and physical factors that affect different ecosystems around the world. Extreme Habitats: Into the Deep Sea opens runs through November 9.

And when you go, don’t forget your cell phone: This exhibition, like many others at the Bruce, will be accompanied by a compelling cell phone audio tour guide program, Guide by Cell, generously underwritten by Nat and Lucy Day. Easy to follow Guide by Cell instructions will be available at the front admissions desk.

About the Bruce Museum
The Bruce Museum is a museum of art and science and is located at One Museum Drive in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 1 pm to 5
pm; closed Mondays and major holidays. Admission is $7 for adults, $6 for students up to 22 years, $6 for seniors and free for members and children less than five years. Individual admission is free on Tuesday. Free on-site parking is available and the Museum is accessible to individuals with disabilities. For additional information, call the Bruce Museum at (203) 869-0376 or visit the website at www.brucemuseum.org.

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