Christmas comes early at The National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham

Aquarists at The National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham are celebrating the safe delivery of a very special Christmas present – a hundred baby seahorses.

Festivities were in full flow as the team marked the birth of the tiny creatures following the centre’s successful breed, rescue, protect programme. The project, one of The National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham’s major commitments to conservation, has really struck a chord with visitors, as many find the process of raising baby seahorses fascinating.

People are surprised to discover it is actually the male seahorse that gives birth after incubating the female’s eggs in a special stomach pouch for around 25 days. Even more startling is the fact that several hundred – sometimes up to a thousand – babies can be produced in a single pregnancy.

 Rob Gaster, the aquarist who bred the seahorses at The National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham, said:

It’s always exciting when we have a new birth at the attraction, let alone a hundred.
We’re very happy to report that our baby seahorses are thriving and being cared for in our specialist nursery tank so we can keep a close eye on them. They are sensitive creatures and our specialist team has been feeding them microscopic food called rotifers which we have to grow as a culture, and tiny shrimp.

He added:

The success of our breeding program has enabled us to raise fully grown seahorses and to keep them here at The National SEA LIFE Centre, as well as to move them to other SEA LIFE attractions to ensure strong diversity of genetics in groups. This ensures their survival as a species.

The National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham, is a specialist in seahorse breeding, and has successfully reared nine species, along with the SEA LIFE Trust, which oversees important seahorse protection and conservation endeavours around the world.

Christmas celebrations are continuing as part of the Merry Fishmas event, which is running until Tuesday 23rd December. Visitors can experience Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas in a sensational 4D environment, and get the chance to meet Father Christmas in his specially made Grotto.

The aquarium is home to over 2,000 creatures, including a waddling colony of Gentoo penguins, a rescued Giant Green Sea Turtle, otters, jellyfish, piranha, octopus and rays.

For further information or to pre-book tickets online before your visit please go to SEALIFE.co.uk/birmingham/. Reduced prices are available for tickets booked in advance.

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