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About Our Creatures

Blue Reef Newquay is home to 40 naturally-themed habitats – taking you on a journey from the Cornish coasts to the exotic seas. You’ll also have the opportunity to come face-to-face with some freshwater turtles and caiman, meet our pufferfish, and much more!

 

Our underwater tunnel runs through the ocean tank at the heart of the aquarium, and offers you captivating views of the reef and all the sea life that calls it home, including the loggerhead sea turtles, reef sharks, and shoals of colourful fish.

 

Have we piqued your interest? To learn more about our creatures and the star attractions, see below:

Black Tip Reef Sharks

Black Tip Reef Sharks

Carcharhinus melanopterus

Of all the shark species we have here at Blue Reef Newquay, the blacktip reef sharks are among some of the largest. They’re related to the tiger sharks and the bull sharks, which means they hunt on coral reefs – hence the name ‘reef’ sharks. In fact, they are ready to hunt as soon as they are born, and adult blacktip reef sharks can grow up to almost 1.2 metres in length.

Fun fact: apart from their habit of hanging out in coral reefs, blacktip reef sharks also get part of their name from the pointed snout and black tips on their fins – especially the dorsal fin. Come and see if you can spot it!

Giant Pacific Octopus

Giant Pacific Octopus

Enteroctopus dofleini

Giant Pacific octopuses grow bigger and live longer than any other octopus species. They’re extremely intelligent creatures with chameleon-like abilities that allow them to change their colour and skin pattern in order to mimic rocks and corals.

These octopuses belong to the cephalopod family, which makes them close relatives to the cuttlefish and the prehistoric nautilus. They’re also distantly related to the common garden snail – we bet you’d never have guessed this! With all that, as well as three hearts, blue blood, and a brain that’s shaped like a donut, the giant Pacific octopus is truly an animal like no other!

Underwater Tunnel

Underwater Tunnel

Behold, the centrepiece of the aquarium: the spectacular coral reef housed within an amazing ocean display.

Living amongst the reef are exotic species like angelfish, pufferfish, wrasse, and hundreds of other brightly-coloured fish. Not to mention a variety of big sharks, rays, moray eels, and the venomous lionfish.

Take a stroll down the tunnel and get up-close and personal with all our amazing sea creatures.

Colourful corals

Colourful corals

The water clarity and quality in our coral tank is maintained to a high level so that our marine experts are able to propagate a diverse range of hard and soft corals.

The soft corals are used to provide naturally-themed habitats for our brightly-coloured reef fish. The corals pulsing in the flow of the current is definitely one of the most mesmerising things we’ve seen. Don’t take our word for it – come and see it for yourself!

Sandy Seabeds

Sandy Seabeds

You don’t have to brave the elements to discover the amazing diversity of species that inhabit the Cornish coasts: we have tanks here dedicated to our local unsung underwater heroes, including the colourful wrasse, pipefish, sea bream, bass, and gobies. On top of that, you can also find dogfish and rays.

This is the perfect opportunity to learn more about sharks and rays native to UK coastal waters and to get a better understanding of our ecosystem.

Crustaceans & Claws

Crustaceans & Claws

From rockpools to deep sea trenches, crustaceans have been inhabiting every part of our seas since before the time of the dinosaurs. You can learn more about these creatures here at Blue Reef Newquay; we have shrimps that provide cleaning services to the most furious of predators, a giant lobster, and there’s even a crab who enjoys dressing up (it will collect gems and bits of coral it finds and attach the pieces to its body)!

Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman Crocodiles

Cuvier’s Dwarf Caiman Crocodiles

Paleosuchus palpebrosus

As suggested by its common name, the dwarf caiman is the smallest of the New World crocodilians – it grows to a maximum of 1.5 metres.

Originating from the Amazon rainforest, dwarf caiman juveniles eat mainly invertebrates like crustaceans, whilst the adults generally feed on fish, crabs, shrimp, and even small mammals. Unfortunately, like all rainforest creatures, the dwarf caiman’s habitats are at risk from mass deforestation.

Loggerhead Turtle

Loggerhead Turtle

Caretta caretta

Loggerhead turtles are named for their overly large heads with heavy, strong jaws that allow them to crush hard-shelled prey.

These turtles can migrate more than 9,000 miles from where they hatch. Luckily, they are less likely to be hunted for their meat or shell compared to other sea turtles. That said, all sea turtles are at risk from many other threats in their natural habitats.

Omiros, our resident loggerhead, was rescued in Greece with damage to his eyes, meaning he’s blind and couldn’t be released. He’s now about 35 years old and weighs almost 100kg! Our aquarists look after Omiros closely. You’ll be able to spot him swimming around our tank.

Blue Reef Nurseries

Blue Reef Nurseries

Here at Blue Reef Newquay, we have a dedicated team of aquarists who are actively involved in pioneering captive-breeding programmes for a wide range of native species as well as tropical species.

Our nursery displays provide the perfect environments for many species, including captive-bred baby clownfish and seahorses. That’s not all; we’ve also successfully bred sharks, rays, pipefish, jellyfish, cuttlefish, and many more!

To see how you can do your part to help protect our beautiful shores, check out our sea life conservation tips.

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