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"Extreme Habitats: Into the Deep Sea" opens at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich
Bruce Museum Exhibition Preparator Sean Murtha painting hydrothermal vent display background. Photo: Sean Murtha.
GREENWICH, CONN.- Extreme Habitats: Into the Deep Sea launched at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich on April 5, and explores the vast and extraordinary deep sea. This show focuses on both 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.

“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,” says Peter Linderoth, Manager of Outreach Education, and curator of the exhibition. “They will discover the extremophiles that form the foundation of a hydrothermal vent, witness the bizarre appearances and adaptations of deep-sea species, and garner an understanding of the technology that makes deep-sea explorations possible.”

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.

“The Bruce Museum is fortunate to have a spectacular cast of collaborating organizations on this exhibit,” notes Linderoth, who called on the experts to develop the show in the Bruce Museum Science Gallery. “The deep sea is not an everyday vacation destination,” he adds, “so this is a rare view into a vastly unknown world.”

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 opened on April 5 and runs through November 9.

And when you go, don’t forget your cell phone: This exhibition, like many others at the Bruce, is 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 is available at the front admissions desk.

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