A Magical Journey from a tropical mountain stream, through Jungle Swamps to the colourful world of Marine Reefs in warm seas.
The freshwater displays at Underwater World show a wide range of freshwater habitats, ranging from Amazonian streams and flooded forests to African lakes and even tiny seasonal pools.
Many fish from different areas are faced with similar environmental conditions, for example murky water. Fish such as neon tetras have very bright distinctive colouration, which aids communication between shoal members. The red-tailed catfish inhabits murkier waters and has long whiskers to help to find its way about and also to locate its food.
Mangroves are the only trees that are able to tolerate salty water. They provide a safe nursery ground for many fish, as larger predators are unable to enter the root-tangled water.
Unfortunately many mangrove swamps are being destroyed because they are not seen as economically important. This will have a devastating effect on both land erosion and for many marine species in this delicate ecosystem.
The Crocodilian Swamp is home to two spectacled caimen, and one dwarf caimen. In the next display we also have a Dwarf crocodile hatched at Birdworld and he will be joined by more once he grows large enough to move into the larger exhibit.
Our soft-shelled turtle ‘Godfrey’ is an ex-pet who has been with us for a number of years, he can usually be seen in his pool with his amazing nose acting as a snorkel.
The remaining exhibits represent marine ecosystems from the vast Caribbean, Indian and Pacific oceans, mostly from the shallower coastal reef waters.
Reef formation starts when stony corals die and leave behind their calcareous skeleton. Other corals and sponges settle on this and form, over many years, vast reefs. The reefs attract numerous fish as they provide both shelter and food. Thus, a diverse and thriving community is created. Our marine displays attempt to show 'snippets' from some of the world's shallow water communities.