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Visit with “crazy, cool fish” in January

Learn about unique inhabitants of Narragansett Bay with “Crazy Cool Fish” at Save The Bay’s Exploration Center and Aquarium in Newport during Jan. 2018.

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PHOTO: With two eyes on the same side of its body, the flounder is one of Narragansett Bay’s crazy, cool fish. (Photo provided by Save The Bay.)

By Save The Bay

“Crazy Cool Fish” is this month’s theme (January 2018) at Save The Bay’s Exploration Center and Aquarium in Newport, where guests can learn about some of the more unique inhabitants of Narragansett Bay.

An interactive story hour featuring “Flossie Flounder: A Tale of a Flat Fish” teaches visitors of all ages about different fish types. A “Can You Make a Fish?” scavenger hunt sends guests on a hunt around the Exploration Center for pieces of fish that will create one large fish once the hunt is complete. And this month’s craft invites kids to make their own crazy cool fish out of a paper plate.

Posters around the aquarium highlight such crazy-looking fish as the red hake, oyster toadfish, big eye, and flounder, and compare fish with bones against fish with cartilage.

“These critters have such unique features that it’s absolutely worth drawing our guests’ attention to them,” said Celina Segala, Save The Bay’s aquarium outreach coordinator. “For example, the oyster toadfish has a vestibular, or balance, system very similar to humans. So, in 1998, NASA sent an oyster toadfish to space with John Glenn so it could study the possible effects of microgravity on the human balance system.”

Also in January, “Feeding Frenzy” will be held from 5-6 pm on Thursday, January 18, 2018, when visitors can help aquarium staff feed the fish, turtles, sharks and more. Tickets are limited and can be purchased online. “Feeding Frenzy” is also held on February 15, 20, and 22, and March 15, 2018.

The Exploration Center is open Friday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is located in the Easton’s Beach Rotunda at 175 Memorial Blvd. in Newport.

General admission is $8; $7 for military and senior citizens. Save The Bay Family Members enjoy free admission for two adults and up to four children thanks to Corvias, Save The Bay’s Family Days sponsor. Get more information about the Exploration Center and Aquarium online or at 401-324-6020.

Founded in 1970, Save The Bay works to protect and improve Narragansett Bay and its watershed through advocacy, education, and restoration efforts. It envisions a fully swimmable, fishable, healthy Narragansett Bay, accessible to everyone and globally recognized as an environmental treasure.