Blue Planet Aquarium’s tropical river exhibit is designed to represent a branch of the Amazon River, the mighty waterway of the rainforests of South America, with its abundant and exotic freshwater life. The Amazon drains vast areas of South America and contains 20 per cent of the world’s fresh water!
Stop here and immerse yourself in the sounds of the rainforest! Imagine a cool, misty sunrise; you’ll hear buzzing insects, a frog chorus and a symphony of birdsong and monkeys chattering high in the trees.
It’s hot all year round, and with just two seasons – wet and dry – water levels can vary dramatically and dissolved oxygen often runs short. Catfish and Electric Eels have evolved to overcome this by taking in air directly from the surface.
One of the most fascinating fish in our Flooded Forest exhibit is the Black Pacu, the largest member of the Characin family. Although related to piranhas, he is actually a vegetarian!
Did you know that only four (out of approximately 80) species of piranhas, including the Red-bellied Piranha and the Black Piranha, which is also the largest of the species, are actually dangerous to man?
Not all fish in Rainforest Rivers are drably coloured giants that blend in with the muddy water; some find brilliant colour useful for attracting a mate or warning of approaching danger. In a shoal, they can confuse predators by looking like a large fish worth eating which then dissolves in a dazzling blur as they flit in all directions.
The infamous razor-sharp teeth of the red-bellied piranha are self-sharpening and can cut through steel. A shoal of piranha can strip an unwary animal to a skeleton in minutes.
Maximum Size: 40CM