Shell Museum Adds New Keeper Chat To Its Program Lineup

provided to The Santiva Chronicle

Based on positive visitor feedback, the Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum has added a new 2 p.m. Queen of the Sea Keeper Chat to its program lineup.

Keeper Chats take place daily in the Museum’s Beyond Shells Living Gallery and aquariums. During Queen of the Sea, Aquarists explore unique stories of the Conch species and explain the Museum’s exhibit of Queen and Milk Conchs, which also includes Cowries and Seahorses.

Conchs are amazing animals with conservation histories both successful and complex. Aquarists share their expertise on the life cycle, anatomy, economic importance of the Queen Conch, as well as other animals that coexist in their ecosystems.

Queen of the Sea complements the daily 11 a.m. Giant Pacific Octopus Keeper Chat, during which visitors learn about the octopus’ behavior, nutrition, different types of enrichment and training, veterinary care, and water quality. Keeper Chats are included in the cost of admission to the Museum, and are made possible by the support of Bank of the Islands.

“These kinds of in-person gallery dialogues and experiences are a fun and impactful way for visitors to learn more about these animals,” said Sam Ankerson, Executive Director of the National Shell Museum. “People are captivated by the Aquarists’ knowledge of the Conchs, Giant Pacific Octopus, and other marine life in their care. The Museum is grateful to Bank of the Islands for making Keeper Chats possible.”

Learn more at

About the Museum: The Bailey-Matthews National Shell Museum is a Natural History Museum, and the only accredited museum in the United States with a primary focus on shells and mollusks. Its mission is to use exceptional collections, aquariums, programs, experiences, and science to be the nation’s leading museum in the conservation, preservation, interpretation, and celebration of shells, the mollusks that create them, and their ecosystems. Permanent exhibitions on view include the Great Hall of Shells which displays highlights of the Museum’s collection of some 550,000 shells, as well as the Beyond Shells living gallery of aquariums and over 50 species of marine life. For more information on the Museum, please visit or call (239) 395-2233.
About the Bank: Bank of the Islands, a name synonymous with island community banking since 1974, is located at 1699 Periwinkle Way, at the corner of Casa Ybel Road, on Sanibel. The Captiva office is at 14812 Captiva Drive, next to the Captiva Post Office. As the oldest locally owned and managed community bank on the islands, Bank of the Islands is proud to be the winner of 50 “Best of the Islands” awards since 1999, including being chosen the Best Island Bank for 23 years straight.

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