Visitors to Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium over the half term holidays (Feb 13th-21st) will have the chance to take part in an annual fish stock count as well as naming their newest arrival – a giant South American lizard.
he aquarium is carrying out its own version of a ‘fishy census’ and aquarist are inviting younger visitors to help record the number of certain species; including seahorses, frogs, octopus and lionfish.
Staff will then do an official check and the child who most accurately reports the population of each of the animals will win a year’s free membership.
Blue Reef’s Leanna Lawson said: “February has traditionally always been the time of year when we do an official check on all our stock numbers.
“We thought it would be a good idea to involve the visitors in the whole process as well and turn it into a fun, free activity that everyone can take part in.
“We’ve been fortunate to have experienced a large number of new births in 2015 including baby sharks and seahorses so there’s plenty to keep us all busy.
“The shark and rays are usually fairly easy to count, although there are a number of species that like to spend much of their time either hidden among the rocks or under the sand.
“The seahorses can be a little tricky and some of the flatfish are so well camouflaged you have to have a very keen eye,” she added.
Blue Reef has welcomed a new addition to its Jungle Room in the form of an Argentine black and white tegu lizard, which can grow up to a metre-and-a-half in length and weigh around seven kg.
Leanna Lawson said: “He is a truly magnificent looking lizard and we’re hoping our visitors can come up with a suitably impressive-sounding name.
“Tegus come from South America, which might also help give people inspiration, and it has also recently been discovered this particular species is the only known type of lizard in the world to be partly warm-blooded.”
Blue Reef is based at Rock-a-Nore Road, Hastings, and is open daily from 10am.
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