Shell Museum Launches New Mangrove Exhibit | News, Sports, Jobs – SANIBEL-CAPTIVA


The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum launched a new mangrove exhibit earlier this month in its Beyond Shells living gallery. It is designed to facilitate an educational story about mangrove conservation and water quality that will be meaningful to local, visitor and school audiences.

Mangroves are tropical coastal shrubs and trees that can tolerate wave action and immersion in seawater and thrive under a wide range of salt concentrations. Different species of mangroves are adapted to thrive in sand or mud with very low oxygen conditions. The exhibit features a red mangrove, which is usually found at the outer edge of mangrove forests.

“This dynamic new exhibit takes the viewer into a beautifully recreated red mangrove ecosystem, providing an up-close view of the importance of mangroves to the health and conservation of our coastal environments,” said executive director Sam Ankerson.

Mangroves provide shelter and habitat for a diverse community of invertebrates and fish. Molluscs thrive in ecosystems, from the muddy bottom around trees to roots, branches and trunks, and even under the bark of mangrove trees.

The exhibit includes molluscs and fish typical of a red mangrove ecosystem, including swamp killifish, sheepshead killifish, sailfin mollies, bruised nassa snails, conch snails, banded tulips, and true tulips. The mangrove extends over a “visualization bubble” which allows visitors to view the diversity of animals while standing inside the exhibit.

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The Bailey-Matthews National Seashell Museum is located at 3075 Sanibel Captiva Road, Sanibel.

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