Museum showcases beautiful marine life of Andaman

Port Blair, March 3 (ANI): Marine Museum of Zoological Survey of India (ZSI) showcased a perfect blend of history, geography, anthropology and the beautiful marine life of Andaman and Nicobar archipelago, housing over 1200 species and a diverse range of exhibits with informative coverage of the islands' ecosystem, tribal communities, plant as well as animal life.

The museum has been thoughtfully divided into five different rooms, each of them showcasing a different facet of the Andaman Islands. A massive blue whale, in its skeletal form of course, greets visitors at the entrance of the museum.

The museum showcases a blend of the old and the new, past as well as present, making it an interesting place for visitors to explore, said an officer-in-charge of ZSI, Ragunanthan.

"We are mainly concentrating on marine environment of these islands. We are conducting survey of the life forms that exist under water from north Andaman to South Andaman and also from Great Nicobar to -Car Nicobar. Six hundred major surveys have been conducted by this office during period of thirty years or more," he said.

An aquarium with fishes of all shapes and sizes teeming with a parrot fish, rare venomous species of stone fish is quite a delight to visit for youngsters as well as elders. Wide range of Corals, which the islands are quite famous for, grab most eyeballs.

Research Associate ZSI Tamal Mandal said Museum's curio shop was the centre of attraction for visitors, as they take back souvenirs of their trip from there.

"We have preserved the species for the people who are not able to get a sneak peek into the marine life. This is to educate them on the marine ecosystem which forms an integral part of our bio diversity," said he.

Information about the tribal life of the islands along with a display of interesting specimens of snakes and butterflies interest the global tourists the most, added Mandal.

Andaman and Nicobar Islands is a rich treasure of marine creatures and coral reefs. It holds five hundred and three species under seventeen families of scleractinian corals which are otherwise called stony corals.

The Great Nicobar which is the largest of Nicobar islands alone houses one hundred and seventy two species under thirteen families.

Apart from corals, the museum authority also preserved specimens of rare species like Coconut Crab, Sea Cucumber, star fish, Marine sponge among others.

Many species among them are commercially important which gives a boost to the Indian trade and commerce through export. Species like Sea cucumber is an expensive ingredient used in authentic Chinese dishes.

Other than the marine species, the museum also houses wide variety of centipedes, mammals, fish, insects, sea shells and other marine and terrestrial species. (ANI)