ANIMAL A-Z…


Learn more about our amazing animal collection. Click on a letter below to find an animal or use our animal search:

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Cardinal, Banggai (Pterapogon kauderni)

Cardinal, Banggai
Cardinal, Banggai

The banggai is a small reef fish with elongated dorsal fins and a distinctive pattern with three black bars across the head and silvery body, black edges and white spots along the dorsal fins and white spots between the second and third black bars. Adults only reach 8cm including the tail, and you will often find this little fish in groups of up to 10 hiding in anemones, sea urchins and behind corals. These fish are mouth brooders


Fun Facts...

The male holds the fertilised eggs in his mouth until they hatch, and even allows the fry to stay in his enlarged lower jaw to keep them safe, only spitting them out when they get too big!

The Banggai cardinalfish is the only member of its family which is diurnal.

The courtship behaviour of this fish is often initiated by the female. Once she has chosen a mate she will isolate him from the rest of the colony by creating a spherical spawning site that is 50-60cm in diameter. 


Location...

Endemic to the reefs of the Banggai Islands off Sulawesi, Indonesia.



Habitat...

A variety of shallow tropical habitats, including coral reefs, sea grass beds and open areas of sand and rubbleAdults are usually found around the reefs and rubble areas, whereas youngsters will use sea grass beds to hide in. They will often also hide amongst the long spines of urchins, where they are protected from predators.



Diet...
Small crustaceans.

Endangered

Carp, Common/Koi (Cyprinus carpio)

Carp, Common/Koi
Carp, Common/Koi

The common carp is the third most frequently introduced species in the world.

It can grow up to 120cm in length and weigh up to 60kg

It has small eyes, thick lips, large scales, two barbels at each corner of the mouth and strongly serrated spines in the dorsal and anal fins.

Wild common carp are usually olive green, brown or silver in colour where as Koi carp are an ornamental strain which are brightly coloured with orange, yellow and black markings.


Fun Facts...

Common carp can live up to age of about 50 and were a luxury food item in the middle and late Roman period, where the Romans used to keep them in storage ponds. 

Some ornimental breeding carp are valued  at $AUS400,000 and record prices have been close to one million dollars!

 


Location...

Wild stocks are found only in the Black, Caspian and Aral Sea basins. Domesticated stocks are found all over Europe, South America and parts of Africa and Asia.



Habitat...

Warm, deep slow-flowing and still freshwater such as rivers and lakes which drain into the seas.



Diet...
They have a varied diet from molluscs and crustaceans to zooplankton and plant matter.

Vulnerable

Carp, Mirror (Cyprinus carpio carpio)

Carp, Mirror
Carp, Mirror

The mirror carp was the first recorded mutation of the common carp and are very large fish which can reach lengths of 1.2metres and weigh up to 27kg! They have irregular, patchy scalation along the dorsal fin and lateral line which is thought to be a trait of how they were bred to make them easier to prepare for meals!


Fun Facts...

The biggest mirror carp ever to be recorded was said to weigh a mighty 7 stone!


Location...

Usually found in freshwater lakes and rivers around Europe and are particular abundant in Britain.



Habitat... Inhabits freshwater lakes and rivers.

Diet...
Feeds on aquatic insects and some plant matter.

Not Evaluated

Catshark, Grey bamboo (Chiloscyllium griseum)

Catshark, Grey bamboo
Catshark, Grey bamboo

The grey bamboo catshark has a fairly stout body with a long thick tail. The mouth is well in front of the eyes and it has a rounded snout. It has no dorsal spines and adults are completely greyish-brown with no patterns. Juveniles usually have dark bands and they can grow up to about 74cm in length. 


Fun Facts...

The grey bamboo catshark is oviparous (egg laying) and deposits eggs in small oval cases on the sea bottom.


Location...

Found mainly inshore in the Indo-West Pacific region.



Habitat...

Found usually dwelling on the bottom of sandy or muddy shores, also on rocks and coral lagoons.



Diet...
Feeds mainly on small fish, shrimps, worms molluscs and crabs

Near Threatened

Catshark, Small spotted (Scyliorhinus canicula)

Catshark, Small spotted
Catshark, Small spotted

The small spotted catshark is greyish-brown in colour and as its name suggests, covered by numerous small dark spots about the size of a pupil.

It can grow up to about a metre in length and has a prominent snout with large nostrils on the underside which connect to the mouth with a curved groove.


Fun Facts...

This species is also known as dog fish, rough hound and rock salmon, and lays eggs which are called 'mermaids purses'.


Location...

Distributed in the Northeast Atlantic from Norway and the British Isles, south to Senegal and the Mediterranean. 



Habitat...

Inhabits continental shelves and uppermost slopes on sandy, coralline, algal, gravel or muddy bottoms.



Diet...
Feed on molluscs, crustaceans, other benthic invertebrates and small fish.

Least Concern

Chromis, Blue-green (Chromis viridis)

Chromis, Blue-green
Chromis, Blue-green
The blue-green chromis, also known as the blue-green damselfish, is known for its beautiful colouration. It has a light blue, iridescent dorsal side which fades into a pale green belly. It grows to about 10cm in length and has the name 'blue-green' as the colour seems to change as its body catches the light.
Fun Facts...
The females will deposit their eggs into a males nest. The nesting male then turns yellow and fans the eggs with his tail until they hatch. 
Location... These fish are found in the Indo-Pacific and South Pacfic oceans, including the Red Sea. 

Habitat... Inhabitat reefs with branching corals and lagoons. 

Diet...
Phytoplankton, krill, brine, mysis shrimp.

Not Evaluated

Clownfish, Black and white (Amphiprion ocellaris var.)

Clownfish, Black and white
Clownfish, Black and white
The black and white clownfish is also known as the black perc, black percula clown anemone fish or the black and white false percula clownfish. They have a jet black body with three white stripes. Youngsters are dark orange to brown in colour with a lighter face. They grow to about 7cm long.  
Fun Facts...
All clownfish begin as males and only the large, dominant fish will change into a female. This is a variation of the common clownfish. 
Location... Found in the Coral Sea, north-east Australia. 

Habitat... Clownfish are found in coral reefs, particularly ones with anemone species. 

Diet...
Mainly zoo plankton and algae. They also feed on parasites from their host algae.

Not Evaluated

Clownfish, Percula (Amphiprion percula)

Clownfish, Percula
Clownfish, Percula

The percula clownfish grows to 11cm in length. They are mainly orange in colour with 3 white vertical stripes at the base of the tail, from the middle of the dorsal fin and on the neck. Thick black bands separate the white and orange stripes. Clownfish often hide from predators in particular species of anemone.


Fun Facts...

The clownfish avoids getting stung by the anemone as it secretes protective mucus. The clownfishes' predators cannot get the clownfish from behind the anemone's stinging tentacles!


Location...

Indo-Pacific region, ranging from northern Queensland to Melanesia.



Habitat...

Clownfish are found on coral reefs, in particular ones with particular species of anemones. All clownfish are born as males. As juvenilles, they will stay together in small groups, hiding amongst the corals and small anemones. As they grow, the largest of the group will become and female, and her and the next largest will pair together for life. Pairs of clownfish will often be territorial about their host anemone and the surrounding area.



Diet...
Algae, zooplankton, worms and small crustaceans.

Least Concern

Clownfish, Red Sea (Amphiprion bicinctus)

Clownfish, Red Sea
Clownfish, Red Sea

The Red Sea clownfish is also known as the twoband anemonefish due to its yellow-orange colouring with two black-edged white bands. One band runs vertically just behind the head and the second between the dorsal fins, down to the abdomen. They reach a length of about 14cm.


Fun Facts...

Clownfishes are fiercly territorial and will dart out and 'attack' whatever comes close including divers!


Location...

As the name suggests, these fish are most commonly found in the Red Sea. They also are found in the western Indian Ocean.



Habitat...

Inhabit coral reefs and will be found amongst the tentacles on their host anemone.



Diet...
Feeds on benthic algae and zooplankton.

Not Evaluated

Clownfish, Tomato (Amphiprion frenatus)

Clownfish, Tomato
Clownfish, Tomato

As you may guess from the name, this species is redder in colour than typical clownfish. This species has a black-edged white bar just behind the head and the body is sometimes black, especially in older individuals. They can grow to 14cm in length, and females are usually larger. These clownfish prefer to nestle in purple anemones such as the bubble-tip anemone.


Fun Facts...

As they grow, the largest of the group will become a female, and her and the next largest will pair together for life.

Spawning occurs on a full moon. 

Pairs of clownfish will often be territorial about their host anemone and the surrounding area.

As juveniles, they will stay together in small groups, hiding amongst the corals and small anemones.

 


Location...

Tropical reefs in the Western Pacific: Gulf of Thailand to south-western Palau, North to Southern Japan and South to Java, Indonesia.



Habitat...

Clownfish are found on coral reefs, in particular ones with particular species of anemones.  



Diet...
Varied diet of zooplankton and algae.

Not Evaluated

Clownfish, Yellow-tailed (Amphiprion clarkii)

Clownfish, Yellow-tailed
Clownfish, Yellow-tailed

Yellow tailed clownfish is a small fish which is laterally compressed and oval to rounded. They have two white bands (one behind the eye and one in the centre) along with a white or yellowish caudal fin that is lighter in colour depending on their geographical location. They can reach 15cm in length and the oldest ever recorded lived to 11 years. All clownfish are born as males. As juvenilles, they will stay together in small groups, hiding amongst the corals and small anemones. As they grow, the largest of the group will become a female, and then she and the next largest male will pair together for life. Pairs of clownfish will often be territorial about their host anemone and the surrounding area.


Fun Facts...

All clownfish are protrandous hermaphrodites. This means that they are born male and if the female dies then the dominant male will change sex into a female leaving a non-dominant male to take his place.

This fish is also known as Clark's anemonefish.

The clown fish live in a mutualistic relationship with anemone. The clown fish has a mucous coating to protect itself from the anemones stings so that it can hide amongst its tenticles. The clownfish then attracts prey items for the anemone  and defends it from tentacle-eating predators


Location...

Native from Persian Gulf to Western Austrailia and the Western Pacific.



Habitat...

Clownfish are found on coral reefs, in particular ones with particular species of anemones.  



Diet...
Small crustaceans.

Not Evaluated

Cockroach, Madagascar hissing (Gromphadorhina portentosa)

Cockroach, Madagascar hissing
Cockroach, Madagascar hissing

This species of cockroach is a shiny brown colour and oval shaped, with one pair of antennae and no wingsThey have pads and hooks on their feet that allow them to climb smooth surfaces. They are named after the ability to make a hissing sound by exhaling air through breathing holes on their abdomen called spiracles.They hiss when startled to scare off predators, to assert dominance and as part of their mating ritual.

 


Fun Facts...

Cockroaches are some of the most primitive insects on our planet as they have been around for approximately 350 million years!

Madagascar hissing cockroaches are one of the largest species of cockroach in the world!

If you were to cut a cockroaches head off then it would survive for around 2 weeks as it doesn't use its head to house its brain or breathing apparatus. It does, however, need it for the mouth parts so that it can eat.

 


Location...

Found all over Madagascar.



Habitat...

Forest floors amongst leaf litter and logs.



Diet...
Fruit and plant material

Not Evaluated

Crab, Decorator (Cyclocoeloma tuberculata)

Crab, Decorator
Crab, Decorator

Decorator crabs are a species of crab that use various materials from their surroundings to disguise themselves. This can range from plant matter to living sea animals such as coral, anemones and some invertebrates. Because of this ability to disguise themselves, no decorator crab looks the same as another. The only way you can tell this crab from another type of crab is that they have black and white striped legs and greenish eyes on stalks.


Fun Facts...

The decorator crab and its chosen 'decorations' have a mutualistic relationship. The crab gets a brilliant disguise to protect itself from predators and in turn the animals that live on the crab get protection and are carried to new places to feed.


Location...

Found widespread in the Indo-Pacific ocean.



Habitat...

Inhabit coral reefs and lagoons, anywhere that their chosen disguise blends in.



Diet...
Feed on plankton and small invertebrates.

Not Evaluated

Crab, Edible (Cancer pagurus)

Crab, Edible
Crab, Edible

This is a large species of crab,  reaching up to 25cm in carapace width. They can vary in colour between a sandy beige, to a brighter orange, or a dark brown and can live up to 20 years. They are an important species harvested for the global seafood marketWhen on sediment substrates such as sand, these crabs dig large pits in order to find food.

 


Fun Facts...

Large females can carry 20 million eggs at any one time! The larvae are planktonic for up to 30 days after hatching.


Location...

Found in the North Sea, North Atlantic Ocean and in small populations in the Mediterranean Sea.



Habitat...

Living in depths of up to 100m, the edible crab is usually found in ocean floors consisting of a mix of mud and sand. Frequently hiding in rocky patches and crevices, small specimens can also be found in coastal areas and rock pools.



Diet...
Molluscs and small crustaceans.

Not Evaluated

Crab, Spiny spider (Maja brachydactyla)

Crab, Spiny spider
Crab, Spiny spider

The spiny spider crab is a a very large crab with a circular carapace (shell) which is bordered by strong spines. It is usually red, yellowish or brownish-red in colour and can grow up to 80cm from tip to tip of the claws.

Its shell and legs are often covered with algae and the males have powerful claws.


Fun Facts...

Spiny spider crabs are solitary animals but during the mating season they come together in huge numbers and create an unsightly mound of mating crabs!


Location...

Found usually in south and west Britain and Ireland but some individuals have been as far north as Scotland.



Habitat...

Inhabits rocky or coarse sandy areas of extreme low water to around 50m.



Diet...
Scavenge on the sea bed but will also eat mussels and shellfish.

Not Evaluated
TODAY AT RHYL...

OPEN: Daily from 10.00am.
LAST ADMISSION: 4.00pm
CLOSES: 5.00pm

ADMISSION:
Adult - £9.50 (16-64yrs)
Child - £8.50 (3-15yrs)
Under 3's - Free
Concessions - £8.99
(Senior Citizen, Disabled, Student).

See our Opening Times & Prices page for further info.
HO! HO! HO! IT’S OFF TO THE GROTTO WE GO!

Santa and his helpers are putting the finishing touches to his grotto and fattening up the reindeer ready for their long journey to SeaQuarium Rhyl. 

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FREE Activity Booklet!

During your visit to the SeaQuarium, don’t forget to take part in our free children’s activity booklet.
Pick up a booklet, find the answers to the questions around SeaQuarium and play some fun games along the way! Children will even receive a sticker at the end of their visit when shown to a member of staff!

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