From seahorses to clownfish, staff at Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium are paying tribute to some of the aquatic world’s best dads on Sunday, June 16th. And, to celebrate Father’s Day, both Blue Reef and the Smugglers Adventure will be treating dads like kids again by only charging them a child’s admission (when accompanied by at least one other full-paying child*).
Visitors to Blue Reef will also be able to enjoy daily reptile encounters on site as well as meet the aquarium’s newest arrivals – a shoal of baby piranhas and more than a dozen tiny puffer fish. While the mysterious and dramatic life of the smuggler are brought vividly back to life in the subterranean passages of the Smugglers Adventure. Blue Reef Aquarium’s Chris Ireland said: “We always celebrate Mother’s Day so we thought it was only fair our fabulous fishy fathers also received a bit more recognition. “In quite a few cases it’s actually the males who do most of the hard work when it comes to looking after the babies,” he added. Clownfish lay their eggs on rocks near the tentacles of stinging anemones for protection.
The attentive males carefully fan the eggs using their fins and will often manoeuvre the anemone’s tentacles to provide a protective canopy above the developing fish. In fact they are so protective they have even been known to attack divers who venture too close to their young! It’s the same story with would-be dads among the sea-going corkwing wrasse family who also do all the nest-building in readiness for the big day. However the fishy world’s most famous fathers are undoubtedly members of the seahorse, and closely related pipefish, families. They are virtually unique in the animal kingdom in that it is the male rather than the female which carries the babies and gives birth to them via a special brood pouch on their stomach.
Pregnant males eventually ‘give birth’ to the tiny replicas of the adults after about a month, depending on the species. Some species can give birth to up to 1,500 babies at any one time!
* Not valid with family tickets or any other offer. All other normal terms and conditions apply. Only valid on Sunday, June 16th 2013.