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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Piranha, Red-bellied (Pygocentrus nattereri)

Piranha, Red-bellied
Piranha, Red-bellied

The red-bellied piranha is one of many piranha species living in South American rivers. Juveniles are silver in colour with dark spots. Adults have a reddish belly when fully grown. These medium sized fish can grow up to 33cm long and weigh up to 3.5kg.

 


Fun Facts...

Although they are known for being ferocious predators, they are actually primarily scavengers that use their powerful jaws and razor sharp teeth to eat other fish, insects, invertebrates and even plants.



Location...

Red-bellied piranha are found in the Amazon River Basin, coastal rivers of northeastern Brazil and the basins of Paraguay and Parana in South America.



Habitat...

Living in lakes, ponds, rivers and streams.



Diet...
Fish, invertebrates and plants

Not Evaluated

Plaice (Pleuronectes platessa)

Plaice
Plaice

The plaice is a type of flatfish, which is brown in colour with orange or red spots. It can sometimes have white spots, especially when living in areas where the sediment has pale rocks or shells. It is oval in shape and can grow to about 60cm in length. 


Fun Facts...

During development, the left eye of the plaice moves to the right side of the head. This allows the plaice to lie flat on the seabed. 

The plaice has the ability to alter its body patterns, this is probably for camouflage



Location...

The plaice is found in the Atlantic Ocean from the western Mediterranean and along the majority of European coasts. This species is common all around British and Irish coasts



Habitat...

Usually found on sandy substrates at depths of between 10-50m, although can also be found on mud or gravel substrates



Diet...
Worms, crustaceans and bivalves.

Least Concern

Plecostomus, Bristle nosed (Ancistrus temminckii)

Plecostomus, Bristle nosed
Plecostomus, Bristle nosed

This is a species of armoured suckermouth catfish. They are nocturnal and prefer to stay hidden during the day. Overall, colouration is brown with light coloured spots. A thin cream coloured stripe appears at the tip of the dorsal and the tail fins. The belly is lighter but still shows the contrasting spots against a darker body colour. 

This species have bristles. These fleshy appendages stick out around the lips and head and grow as the fish grows. Males grow to about 10cm excluding tail and they have larger bristles than the females. 


Fun Facts... Once the female has laid her eggs, the male will guard them until they hatch, which only takes 10-12 days!

Location...

Can be found in the rivers and streams of South America.



Habitat...

Rivers and streams. Fom shallow low oxygen floodplains to the deep water of rivers. 



Diet...
Vegetarian - eats algae

Not Evaluated

Plecostomus, Common (Hypostomus plecostomus)

Plecostomus, Common
Plecostomus, Common

These friendly-natured fish are often called 'sucker-mouth catfish' or 'common plecos' and are common in captivity. They may grow up to 60 centimetres and belong to the armoured catfish family (loricariidae), named for the armour-like longitudinal rows of scutes that cover the upper parts of the head and body. The sucker-mouth catfish is named for its sucker-like mouth, which allows it to adhere to a surface, as well as to hold and rasp at food.


Fun Facts...

Many hobbyists keep aquarium plecos in aquariums because they keep the tank clean by feeding on algae, though rarely realise they can grow up to 60cm.



Location...

This species' native range is tropical South America; it naturally occurs in Brazil, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago and Suriname, though it has been widely introduced to several river systems around the world.



Habitat... Inhabits freshwater and brackish water of river mouths.

Diet...
Algae, aquatic weeds and small crustaceans

Not Evaluated

Plecostomus, Golden nugget (Baryancistrus sp.)

Plecostomus, Golden nugget
Plecostomus, Golden nugget

The gold Nugget Pleco is a shy bottom-dwelling catfish that has a sucker mouth for attaching itself to glass, driftwood and rocks in search of various foods. This species is nocturnal.

This species is beautifully coloured and patterned. For the most part their body is a light or dark brown colour with contrasting and vibrant gold/yellow spots all over its body, with the yellow dorsal fin tips being solid yellow. The colours of this fish will fade at night time, under stress or in sick individuals. 

Sexing is hard to tell when young although when fully grown, males are usually larger and may have a flatter forehead area than the males. 


Fun Facts...

Sometimes you will see these fish shoot quickly to the surface and then back into hiding. They gulp air to aid in their bouyancy. 



Location...

Brazil, South America.



Habitat...

Lakes and rivers



Diet...
Algae

Not Evaluated

Polyp, Button (Zoanthus sp.)

Polyp, Button
Polyp, Button
Also referred to as moon polyps or sea mats, button polyps are a colonial animal with multiple indivual polyps attached to a piece of live rock or coral. They grow rapidly and can quickly over crowd neighbouring areas. They can be found in a variety of colours, ranging from brown to bright green. They have a fairly short stalk, topped with a flat disc with small tentacles. 
Fun Facts... Their polyps have the ability to sting other animals! They have a symbiotic relationship with marine algae called zooxanthellae, which is how they recieve their nutrients.

Location... Widesspread across the Atlantic Ocean and Pacific Ocean.

Habitat... Inhabit shallow tidal waters, lagoons, back reefs and other reefal areas. Sometimes found in deeper waters which is where the fluorescent orange varieties are found.

Diet...
Micro plankton, brine shrimp

Not Evaluated

Pufferfish, Dog faced (Arothron nigropunctatus)

Pufferfish, Dog faced
Pufferfish, Dog faced

These are solitary fish that are often seen resting in a sponge or among coral braches. As with other types of puffer, they inflate themselves by gulping down water when disturbed.

The Dog faced Pufferfish has relatively thin skin and small short spines. Colours vary from a grey base colour to yellow always with black spots. Specimens may darken or lighten in colour due to environmental factors and individuals may drammatically change colour durting their lifetimes. It reaches a maximum length of 33cms.  It has a round shape with a head and snout which at times look like a seal or a dog.  

Also known as the black spotted toadfish, brown puffer or hush puppy puffer. 


Fun Facts...

Parts of the flesh are poisonous if digested.



Location...

Widespread in the Indo-Pacific: East Africa to Micronesia and Samoa, North to Southern Japan, South to New South Wales. 



Habitat...

Found on or near Coral reefs



Diet...
Feed on corals, crustaceans, sponges and algae

Not Evaluated

Pufferfish, Figure Eight (Tetraodon biocellatus)

Pufferfish, Figure Eight
Pufferfish, Figure Eight
The Figure Eight Pufferfish is one of the smaller types of pufferfish. They have a dark brown body with yellow markings and a white underbelly. Pufferfish are known to be aggressive and will inflate themselves when under attack to give the impression of a much larger fish. 
Fun Facts... Their name derives from the patterns across their back that resemble a figure of eight. Pufferfish have two pairs of teeth which are fused together giving the impression of a beak, allowing them to eat hard materials such as mollusks and crustaceans. 

Location... Freshwaters of South East Asia.

Habitat... Brackish and feshwater estuaries and streams. 

Diet...
Mollusks and crustaceans.

Least Concern

Pufferfish, Porcupine (Diodon holacanthus)

Pufferfish, Porcupine
Pufferfish, Porcupine

The porcupine pufferfish can grow up to about 61cm, is pale in colouration with dark patches along its side and back and has very large eyes. Its most distinguishing feature is the long spines that protrude all over its body, although these are actually modified scales which lie flat against the body for most of the time. It gets the name 'pufferfish' or 'baloonfish' as they can expand by swallowing mouthfuls of air or water. This is to make it look larger and to stop it from being swallowed by predators. This also causes the spines to stick out at right angles from its body making it look extremely dangerous. Because of the ability to expand, they have very elasticated skin and lack pleural ribs and a pelvic girdle.


Fun Facts...

Pufferfish are popular in Asian sushi but carry a toxic chemical in their skin and spines and have to be prepared extremely carefully to avoid poisoning the consumer!



Location...

Distributed circumtropically throughout the world in areas such as the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans.



Habitat...

Found in relatively shallow areas of the ocean around grassy flats, coral reefs and mangroves.



Diet...
Feeds mainly on hermit crabs and gastropods such as limpets and whelks.

Not Evaluated

Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus)

Pumpkinseed
Pumpkinseed

The pumkinseed fish is a member of the sunfish family. The pumpkinseed can grow up to a maximum of 10 inches in length, but is more commonly 6-8 inches in length. The pumpkinseed is a yellow to olive green colour and is covered in bright gold or copper spots.


Fun Facts...

Male pumpkinseeds change colour during the breeding season, it therefore appears that visual cues must be important for either the males or females in the breeding season.



Location...

The natural range of the pumpkinseed is in North America, from New Brunswick down the east coast to South Carolina. However, the pumpkinseed fish has now been widely introduced throughout the whole of North America. The pumpkinseed has also been widely introduced in Europe, Africa and South America.



Habitat...

The pumkinseed is a freshwater fish and prefers warm, clear water in shallow areas around 1-2m deep. The pumpkinseed is usually found in areas of dense vegetation where they can hide from predators.



Diet...
Eat a wide variety of small prey, such as insects, insect larvae, snails, crustaceans and small fish.

Not Evaluated
TODAY AT WESTON...

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

See our Opening Times & Prices page for further info.

ADMISSION:
Adult - £9.50 (16-64yrs)
Child - £7.50 (3-15yrs)
Under 3's - Free
Concessions - £8.50
(Senior Citizen, Disabled, Student).


SEAQUARIUM SEEKS EXPLORERS

From 1 August to 31 August 2017, SeaQuarium Weston is hosting their annual Explorer’s Event. 

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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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