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Our Creatures

Explore our underwater world here at Blue Reef Aquarium Portsmouth – there’s a whole host of creatures to be discovered at this award-winning attraction.

From sharks to clownfish, jellyfish to otters, there’s plenty to see. Take in the colourful and exotic inhabitants of the coral reef in our spectacular underwater tunnel and come face to face with the wonders of the aquatic world.

Explore the planet’s rainforests as you encounter some of the most amazing amphibians – from deadly poison dart frogs to curious iguanas.

With more than 40 different displays, the biggest decision you make will be who to see first! Don’t forget: you can save on walk-up prices if you book in advance online. Make a day of it and make sure you experience our amazing feeding times and education talks.

Meet just some of our fantastic creatures below.

Undulate Ray

Undulate Ray

Did you know that rays belong to the same family as sharks? A ray is essentially a ‘flattened-out’ version of a shark, with UK waters home to around 15 different species – including the electric ray and the common skate, the latter of which can reach lengths of up to three metres.

Known for the striking pattern on its back, the undulate ray can be found throughout European waters, where it can grow up to 100cm in length and live for around 20 years.

Top fact: Undulate rays can lay eggs, unlike stingrays who give birth to live young. In one case, an undulate ray laid 88 eggs over the space of 77 days!

Black Tip Reef Sharks

Black Tip Reef Sharks

Black tip reef sharks can grow to be almost two metres in length, about the same length as a large Christmas tree.

Closely related to tiger and bull sharks, black tip reef sharks live and hunt on coral reefs within the Indian and Pacific Oceans, and are regarded as near-threatened.

When born, young pups are able to hunt and swim right away.

Southern Stingray

Southern Stingray

The southern stingray is mainly nocturnal, and can usually be seen burying itself in the sand during the day – so you’ll have to look closely to find one!

The sting of a southern stingray is a modified dermal denticle (skin-tooth), which can be both serrated and venomous at the same time.

In the wild, you’ll find southern stingrays in the tropical and subtropical western Atlantic Ocean, as well as in the Caribbean Sea.

Top fact: Stingrays live on a diet of crustaceans, molluscs, and small fish.

Otters

Otters

Perhaps our star attraction! Otters are some of the most graceful aquatic mammals in the world and are excellent to watch.

Our innovative indoor freshwater display offers a spacious, naturally-themed surrounding for our family of Asian short claw otters to explore and have fun.

Otters can be very intelligent and inquisitive animals, which is why we provide them with a variety of objects and toys to keep them enriched and busy.

Predators

Predators

The depths of the world’s oceans can contain some of the smartest and strongest predators.

Discover the hunting skills and abilities of some of the strangest and most terrifying creatures of the ocean, whether it’s high-speed attacks or camouflage to keep themselves hidden.

Our predators of the depths include jellyfish, lionfish, sharks, and many more.

Reptiles

Reptiles

Grab your ranger hat and immerse yourself in the rainforest section, where you’ll discover some of the world’s most extraordinary reptiles.

There’s plenty for you to witness, including snapping turtles and terrapins, amphibians, axolotls, and iguanas.

Come face-to-face with the impressive frilled dragon – which can reach a total length of up to 2.79ft – or discover why the poison dart frog can be so dangerous.

Top fact: The poison of a dart frog is found within its skin, and some species can contain enough poison to kill up to 20 humans.

Coral Reefs

Coral Reefs

Coral reefs play a vital role in sustaining the world’s oceans, but unfortunately they are at risk of becoming extinct.

At the aquarium, you can encounter some of the many residents that live amongst the coral reefs. These include crested horn sharks, pufferfish, starfish, and eels.

The crested horn shark is a bottom-dwelling species that hunts on crustaceans, sea urchins, and molluscs. In the wild, this shark will crush its prey with its flat, vice-like teeth.

Zebra Shark

Zebra Shark

The zebra shark gets its name because of the white stripes on its black skin. However, unlike actual zebras, these stripes won’t last for too long – because when the zebra shark matures, the markings change to spots.

Top fact: Zebra sharks are found throughout tropical oceans, where they can grow to more than three metres in length.

Claws

Claws

Our clawed friends – such as crabs, lobsters, and shrimps – have been the masters of the seas for millions of years, and have helped to colonise many environments.

Witness cleaner shrimps and hermit crabs as they go about their daily cleaning routines, and be amazed by the likes of giant spider crabs and ancient lobsters.

Don’t forget to keep an eye on our feeding times, where you can visit our Rockpool Encounters attraction for the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of these amazing creatures.

Native Shores

Native Shores

There are many amazing creatures who just so happen to live right on our very shores!

Discover the wide diversity of our native marine life, including colourful wrasse, crustaceans, sea bass, and triggerfish. You’ll also be able to see several different native species of sharks and rays, too!

Nurseries

Nurseries

Our dedicated team of aquarists is actively involved in pioneering captive breeding programmes for many native and tropical species.

Visit our nursery for a chance to see the many species who are currently being looked after, including baby clownfish and seahorses.

We’ve had many successes in our nursery in the past – including sharks, rays, Bangaii cardinal fish, cuttlefish, and many more.

Bring your toddlers to meet our tiddlers and gain a fascinating insight into the different life cycles of marine creatures and why we need to do all we can to conserve and protect the species that call our oceans home.

Tropical Tunnel

Tropical Tunnel

The heart of our aquarium is the amazing ocean touch, which offers you the unique opportunity to see our creatures up close. You’ll be able to see hundreds of vibrant tropical creatures, including pufferfish, triggerfish, and many more.

You can catch our Tropical Tunnel feed at 12pm everyday for a chance to see the tunnel’s residents being fed their lunch.