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Discover the Brittany Pavilion
Dive into an exploration of Brittany’s biodiversity
NEW IN 2017
With the creation of new aquariums and new themes as well as new resources for public science education, the Brittany Pavilion is resolutely turned toward the sea. Here, visitors will discover Brittany’s coastal biodiversity by theme: the extraordinary world of plankton, Brittany’s shoreline biodiversity, hands-on activities at the Minilab, shellfish farming, and the species diversity of the Iroise Natural Marine Park, not to mention the particularities of fishes, crustaceans and molluscs that are characteristic of the continental shelf.
With support from the Iroise National Marine Park and the North Brittany Regional Shellfish Committee
- The Minilab and its themed activities offered by scientificeducators
- Astonishing species rarely seen in aquariums
- The AbyssBox, life under high pressure
- Feeding the seals on the outside beach.
- The diver explaining the features of the rockface.
- The touchpool where our staff will explain the different animals as you meet them close up !
Take the plunge into the thick of Brittany’s biodiversity, beginning with an immersion in the extraordinary world of plankton. At the bottom of the food chain, these microorganisms are revealed in all their diversity of form, whether in a vertical light tube or as the object of study in a dedicated laboratory and from microscopic algae to full-grown jellyfish etc.
This area of the Pavilion is devoted to the diversity of Brittany’s shore habitats, a unique heritage that has faithfully reconstructed to include: an aquarium dedicated to the ecosystems of the Roadstead of Brest; a rocky shore in both wave-battered and sheltered versions; an eelgrass meadow with its highly diverse sea life; a flatfish nursery; and a new seahorse aquarium.
The minilab, a hands-on experience
A new space dedicated to experimentation, the Minilab is an invitation to interact with our scientific educators. Learn about Brittany’s biodiversity in all-new ways using a variety of resources, from a microscope and an underwater camera to a tactile screen and 3D printing.
For the very first time, Océanopolis highlights the shellfish profession. Full-scale reproductions of bouchot poles and a number of interactive exhibits demonstrate how mussels and other shellfish are raised on our coasts. A new species is also on view in this area: the cuttlefish.
Bouchots pole © North Brittany Regional Shellfish Committee
Iroise Natural Marine Park
Discover the diversity of species that inhabit this exceptional environment as you cross a space featuring the seals of our coastline, pass through an acoustic hall and visit the red lobster tank, a school of several hundred sardines, a rocky underwater drop-off and a tank devoted to Brittany’s seaweed.
This area highlights several remarkable habitats, faithfully reconstructed, as well as their inhabitants, rarely seen in aquariums: the great mud flat with its lobster dens; the rock wall and the species that live attached to it; and many other amazing creatures including boarfish, gurnards and the giant box crab.
The AbyssBox: life under high pressure
It’s a world first: visitors at Océanopolis can observe living deep sea animals. They are kept in two housings under a pressure equivalent to that existing at depths of 1800 to 2000 meters where they usually dwell!
Did you know that... ?
The turbot's wandering eye
Like the plaice, the turbot has two rather strange and spectacular characteristics. Both are coloured on just one of their two sides ; that which is visible, but its strangest characteristic is its eye. Just a few days after birth, the larvae begins to flatten and one of its eyes starts to move towards the other. In the end, both of the turbot's eyes become situated on one side of it's body.
The transformation of the wrasse
In the "kelp forest" tank, male and female cuckoo wrasse appear to belong to two separate families. Males are blue and red whereas the younger females are orange with black spots a the base of the dorsal fin. Did you know that cuckoo wrasse change sex over the course of their life ? Born female, they then become male as they age and their colouring changes.
Seahorses, or animal feminism
The famous seahorse, or hippocamus, may be a symbol of a special kind of feminism. Indeed, the males carry the eggs in a pocket on their stomachs. He can thus give birth to 800 young, of which the great majority unfortunately will never reach maturity due to predation.