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June 11, 2013

From clownfish to seahorses, staff at Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium are paying tribute to some of the aquatic world’s best dads as part of a celebration of Father’s Day on Sunday, June 16th.

Special talks and tours throughout the day will draw attention to the aquarium’s hardest-working piscine papas.

And, to celebrate Father’s Day, Blue Reef will be treating dads like kids again by only charging them a child’s admission (when accompanied by at least one other full-paying child*).

Blue Reef Aquarium’s Jenni Smith said: “We always celebrate Mother’s Day so we thought it was only fair our fabulous fishy fathers also received a bit more recognition.

“In quite a few cases it’s actually the males who do most of the hard work when it comes to looking after the babies,” she added.

Clownfish lay their eggs close to the tentacles of stinging anemones for protection.

The attentive males carefully fan the eggs using their fins and will often manoeuvre the anemone’s tentacles to provide a protective canopy above the developing fish.

In fact they are so protective that they have even been known to attack divers who venture too close to their young!

It’s the same story with would-be dads among the sea-going corkwing wrasse family who also do all the nest-building in readiness for the big day.

However the fishy world’s most famous fathers are undoubtedly members of the seahorse, and closely related pipefish, families.

They are virtually unique in the animal kingdom in that it is the male rather than the female which carries the babies and gives birth to them via a special brood pouch on their stomach.

The fathers develop a special lining in the pouch which gives the growing babies oxygen and food while they develop.

Pregnant males eventually ‘give birth’ to the tiny replicas of the adults after anywhere from two to six months, depending on the species. Some species can give birth to up to 1,500 babies at any one time!

* Not valid with family tickets or any other offer. All other normal terms and conditions apply. Only valid on Sunday, June 16th 2013.