Continuing from Part 1:
Feel free to click the link to check it out!
Saws and Claws Exhibit
SAWS and CLAWS is the awesome joint-creature feature at Sydney’s Sea Life Aquarium, featuring amazing Smalltooth Sawfish and HUGE Japanese Spider Crabs.
The highlights of the SAWS and CLAWS creature feature are undoubtedly the Smalltooth Sawfish. Measuring between 1.6 and 3 metres in length – the species can actually grow up to a staggering 7.6 meters!
The Sawfish are a sight to be seen.
These evolutionary marvels have adapted to live in both salt and fresh water, while their long saw-like nose has evolved to expertly forage for food under the sandy, salty ocean floor.
Visitors will be able to see the Sawfish gliding around the huge Great Barrier Reef exhibit, with its vast viewing windows, alongside hundreds of tropical fish and reef sharks.
Forming the other half of this awesome new exhibit are our amazing Japanese Spider Crabs – the world’s largest species of Crab – which, when fully grown, can reach a claw-to-claw leg spanning of almost 4 meters!
In the wild these giants of the deep are found at depths of up to 800 meters, and although they look fierce and intimidating due to their sheer size, they have a surprisingly gentle temperament.
The Japanese Spider Crabs can be found in the CLAWS exhibit area, just past the Mermaid Lagoon Dugong Exhibit.
Mermaid Lagoon Dugong Exhibit
Sydney Sea Life Aquarium is home to 2 amazing dugongs – Pig and Wuru. Both dugongs were orphaned in the wild and could not be re-released following their rescue.
Long aso, Sailors believed Dugongs to be ‘Mermaids’.
So scientifically, that’s probably when the Mermaids were ‘born’.
Dugong Island features a spectacular viewing platform and underwater viewing tunnel so you can see these spectacular animals from above sea level and come face-to-face with them below the surface.
Shark Walk and Shark Valley
Face your fears on the new Shark Walk and walk among some of the world’s biggest sharks including Lemon and Grey Nurse Sharks…before journeying deep under the sea and exploring the depths of Shark Valley.
Shark Valley at Sydney’s Sea Life Aquarium, is a lost underwater world of a bygone age.
Among the jagged rocks, the remains of a giant Whale skeleton lies on the seabed as the glancing eyes of the world’s most graceful predator, the Shark, stare back at you.
Here, you get a closer view of the giant Whale skeleton.
As you enter a deep ocean cave, Shark fossils lie around you with the history of where Sharks first began.
As you leave the dark waters behind, sharks and rays glide between the tumbled-down ruins of an ancient stone temple and the giant face of the temple guardian emerges in front of you.
The ancient stone temple.
Grey Nurse Shark
Despite its fearsome appearance and rows of sharp teeth, the Grey Nurse Shark offers no threat to humans and is in fact a superbly-adapted fish-eater, usually swallowing its prey whole.
The Grey Nurse Shark’s numbers declined sharply in the 1960s and 1970s and, in 1984, they became the first Shark in the world to be awarded protected status.
However, they’re sometimes still caught by accident in shark nets and by fishermen and, because they grow slow, their numbers have yet to recover.
Sydney’s Sea Life Aquarium supports conservation measures to protect these fish, such as the establishment of marine parks where fishing is prohibited.
Sharks have their own inbuilt dentist – they can rapidly grow back teeth if their gnashes become worn or damaged.
Their skin is also amazing – it’s not made of scales but of denticles, which are basically ‘tiny teeth’.
For the experience of a lifetime, how about taking a dive with the Grey Nurse Sharks here??
Spotted Eagle Ray
The Spotted Eagle Ray, as its name suggests, is a member of the eagle ray family, and is found in tropical waters all around the world. The Spotted Eagle Ray can be identified by the rash of white spots on its greyish – blue top side, bright white underbelly, long, thin tail, and distinctive head, with a face that appears to be smiling!
In the wild, because of their size, Spotted Eagle Rays are often a target for predators such as large sharks looking for a substantial meal. Their very small stinger doesn’t offer much form of defense and they’ve been observed on several occasions being overwhelmed by large sharks, such as Hammerhead Sharks and Tiger Sharks to name a few.
At Sydney’s Sea Life Aquarium, there are also have several large Spotted Eagle Rays living in the Mermaid Lagoon Dugong Exhibit, which is also home to the two Dugongs, Pig and Wuru.
(LOL – Cute names)
The Great Barrier Reef Exhibit
The Great Barrier Reef is the largest living system on earth, covering 2000km from north to south. So large that it can even be seen from space!
Running down much of the coastline of north eastern Australia, this World Heritage site is the world’s largest structure built by living organisms and is one of the few such structures visible from space.
The incredible diversity of life is unmatched elsewhere, with only Rainforests coming close. This biodiversity includes over 350 species of coral, 2,000 species of fishes and over 4,000 species of mollusks.
Color plays an important role with many of the animals found on the Great Barrier Reef. Like birds in a Rainforest, the multitudes of fish use colors and patterns to recognize members of their own species and to convey important information such as sex and status within the school.
The diverse colors of corals are provided by the different species of algae which live within their tissues, converting sunlight into food for the coral.
At around 2 million litres, SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium’s Great Barrier Reef exhibit is the world’s largest, highlighting the enormous variety of life in this habitat.
Here, you’ll see clown anemone fish dart amongst the waving tentacles of an Anemone, Sea Stars and Sea Cucumbers silently creeping among the corals.
Wildly coloured Triggerfish and vibrantly colored tangs and Angelfish zipping around, and then suddenly stopping in their tracks to be attended to by a tiny Cleaner Wrasse, deceptively beautiful Lionfish hovering menacingly over coral formations in search of their next meal, can all be observed here.
Brilliantly patterned Lobsters waving their long antennae about and sleek tropical Sharks all seem to move in time with the serene atmospheric music that’s playing soothingly in the background.
This profusion of color can only be seen in The Great Barrier Reef Exhibit, which displays an extensive range of fish species.
Together with a large number of different soft & hard corals.
Through the numerous windows looking into the main oceanarium, you will see hundreds of tropical reef fish living side by side with Sharks and Sawfish.
The amazing, but sadly, critically endangered, Smalltooth Sawfishes can grow up to an incredible 7.6 metres in length.
The Smalltooth Sawfish is one of five Sawfish species found in Australia.
Its saw, which is packed with tiny pore-like organs, and which can detect minute electric fields surrounding living organisms, is lined with teeth. As you might have guessed, it’s saw can also act as a means of defence, as well as a formidable weapon, which it uses to attack its prey.
Smalltooth Sawfishes are found in estuaries, freshwater rivers and creeks in the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Queensland.
The Smalltooth Sawfishes have evolved to swim in both fresh and salty waters, and like to sit at the bottom of shallow muddy rivers. Younger Sawfish tend to prefer freshwater, and they typically move more towards saltwater as they mature.
Back to The Great Barrier Reef Exhibit
Here are more pictures of the Great Barrier Reef Exhibit!
I simply just love sea-life.
By the time you finally reach the Reef Theater, with its floor to ceiling window into the oceanarium and captivating music, you just will not want to leave!
Unfortunately, it was just about closing time!
From the freshwater rivers of the south to the tropical waters of the north, including the world’s biggest and most impressive Great Barrier Reef exhibit, a trip to Sydney’s Sea Life Aquarium takes you around Australia’s coastline, out into its oceans and up into its waterways…..
– All without even having to leave the city!