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!
Take a moment and stop here, immersing 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, the diet of Pacus includes plant material, and they can crack open brazil nuts with their teeth!
The Electric Eel can generate a brief shock of up to 600 volts and 1 amp – enough to stun or even kill small prey – as well as being used for defence. The eels also use a low-voltage electric discharge to navigate in murky waters.
Did you know?
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 humans? Despite their ferocious reputation, Piranha attacks are rare are rarely fatal.