Creatures

Cow Nose Rays

Cow Nose Rays

Rhinoptera bonasus

Cownose rays have a unique feature—long, pointed pectoral fins that separate into two lobes in front of their high-domed heads. A crease in the lobes and a notched head create a cow-nose likeness that gives these rays their name.

Fast Facts:

Cownose rays are known for their long migrations in large schools. They are strong swimmers, able to cover long distances.

Cownose rays have poisonous stingers, but even in large groups they’re shy and not threatening.

As this ray swims through the ocean, its wingtips often break the surface, resembling the dorsal fin of a shark, which sometimes causes undue alarm for swimmers and divers. Occasionally, they jump out of the water and land with a loud smack, a behavior thought to be a territorial display.

Clownfish

Clownfish

Amphiprion ocellaris

Common clownfish have  been made famous by the Disney film “Finding  Nemo”. A special layer of mucus on their skin means that they can live safely amongst stinging anemones tentacles. In exchange the clownfish cleans and feeds the anemones.

Fast Facts:

  • Clownfish can change gender! They live in groups with one dominant breeding pair and smaller immature male clownfish. When the female dies, the dominant male takes her place and turns into a female!
  • There are 28 species of clownfish!

 

  • Habitat:Coral Reefs
  • Where in the world: Indo-Pacific
  • Food: algae, plankton, molluscs, and crustacean
  • Maximum Size: 11cm
  • Conservation Status:Not evaluated
Lionfish

Lionfish

Pterois miles

This fish has large venomous spines that protrude from the body like a mane, giving it the name of the Lionfish.  They have up to 18 extremely long and separated needle sharp spines containing venom some of which can be as long as 36cm. When threatened, the fish often faces its attacker in an upside down posture which brings its spines to bear!

Fast Facts:

  • The lionfish is one of the most venomous fish in the ocean!
  • A sting will cause symptoms such as; severe pain, convulsions, paralysis and possibly even death!

 

  • Habitat: Ledges, caves and crevices
  • Where in the world: Indo Pacific
  • Food: small fish
  • Maximum Size: 42cm
  • Conservation Status: Least concern
Asian Short Clawed Otters

Asian Short Clawed Otters

Aonyx cinerea

Our Asian Short clawed otters are named Indra and Gizmo.  Asian Short clawed otters are  the smallest of the world’s otters.  They are  equally at home in the water and on land. The Asian short-clawed otter can be distinguished from other otters by its small claws and the incomplete webbing between digits.  These tiny claws are used like hands to play with and handle food and toys.  The Asian short clawed otter has a small head, short legs and flattened tail, creating a streamlined shape  that can swim easily through the water.

Fast Facts:

  • Asian Short Clawed Otters are considered to be the most vocal of the 13 otter species.
  • Rice farmers are tolerant of small-clawed otters since the otters feed on crayfish that can damage rice fields. Fishermen train otters to drive fish into nets.

 

  • Habitat: Rivers and Streams
  • Where in the world: Asia
  • Food: meat, shellfish, nuts, vegetables,
  • Maximum Size: 61cm (plus tail)
  • Conservation Status: Vulnerable
Harbour Seal

Harbour Seal

Phoca vitulina

Seals are mammals and members of a group of animals called pinnipeds (literally “fin footed”) which also includes sea lions and walruses.   There are two types of seals found around the UK coastline; The Common seal and the Grey seal. Here at Blue Reef we have Common Seals also known as Harbour Seals.

Seal Shows Daily at 12:00 and 3:00

Fast Facts:

  • Seals can hold their breath for up to 25 minutes! They can even sleep under the water.
  • There are 33 different species of seals!
  • Male seals will live for 25-30 years. Females will live for 30-35 years.
  • The females outlive males due to the stresses incurred in the breeding season.
  • Seals are mature enough to mate at six years
  • Habitat:Shallow waters
  • Where in the world: North Atlantic & North Pacific
  • Food: Fish  & Crustaceans
  • Maximum Size: 2 metres
  • Conservation Status: Data deficient
Cotton Top Tamarin

Cotton Top Tamarin

Saguinus oedipus

Monkeys come in all shapes, colours and sizes, and are divided into two groups. Old World monkeys include large species such as baboons, while New World monkeys are smaller. Monkeys and Gorillas are part of the “Primate family”  Here at Blue Reef we have Common Marmosets, Black tailed Marmosets and Cotton Topped Tamarins.

The Cotton-top Tamarin is classified as Critically Endangered in the Red List of Threatened Species. This means that there are less than 2,000 of these primates existing in the wild.

Fast Facts:

  • There are about 260 species of monkeys in the world!
  • Monkeys are most easily distinguished from apes by their tails;  Apes have no tails!
  • Monkeys will spend hours grooming each other – they pick each others hair and skin and remove bugs which are then eaten!
  • Monkeys use vocalizations, facial expressions, and body movements to communicate.
  • Monkeys peel their bananas and do not eat the skins!
  • Tropical Rainforests cover approximately 8% of the worlds land surface!

 

  • Habitat: Tropical Rainforest
  • Where in the world: South America
  • Food: Fruit, insects
  • Maximum Size: 30cm (plus tail)
  • Conservation Status: Critically endangered

Monkey Feed daily at 11.30

Stonefish

Stonefish

Synanceia verrucosa

The stonefish is widely believed to be the world’s most deadliest fish! Twenty six razor sharp spines along its back contain highly toxic venom.  A stonefish sting can be fatal to humans if medical attention is not received in a few hours! Symptoms of a stonefish sting include; severe pain, difficulty breathing, abnormal blood pressure and heart rate, discolouration of skin, nausea, vomiting, fainting, seizures, paralysis and shock!

Fast Facts:

  • Stonefish can survive out of water for up to 20 hours!
  • Stonefish are sold for meat in Hong Kong markets!
  • The pain of a stonefish sting is so great victims often wish to cut off the limb affected!
  • They can bury in the sand using their large pectoral fins.

 

 

  • Habitat: Tropical Marine Waters
  • Where in the world: Indo Pacific
  • Food: Small fish or shrimp
  • Maximum Size: 50cm
  • Conservation Status: None threatened
Green Iguana

Green Iguana

Iguana Iguana

The Green Iguana is a large, herbivorous species of lizard native to Central America.  They are amongst the largest lizards.  Iguanas generally live near water. They are good climbers and if threatened, they will leap from a branch and escape with a splash to the water below.
Iguana’s stout build gives them a clumsy look, but they are fast and agile on land.  They have razor sharp teeth and sharp tails, which can be used as whips to drive off predators.

Fast Facts:

  • They are tough enough to land unhurt on solid ground from as high as 12 metres (40 feet)
  • Despite their name Green Iguanas can come in different colours!
  • The Green Igauna is known throughout its native South America as the “tree chicken” as both flesh and eggs of the iguana are considered a delicacy!
  • They can detach their tails if caught and will grow another one!

 

  • Habitat: Tropical Forest
  • Where in the world: South America
  • Food: Herbivore
  • Maximum Size: 2 metres
  • Conservation Status: Monitored