Prehistoric Creatures Go On Display At Aquarium

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Prehistoric creatures go on display at aquarium
28th November 2018

By Sandra Pearce



Species of creatures dating back millions of years have gone on display at Newquay’s seafront Blue Reef Aquarium, including  horseshoe crabs, caiman, corals and sharks.

Two of the aquarium’s star attractions of the Amazonian exhibit are Nibbles and The Colonel, who are Cuvier’s dwarf caiman. Cuvier’s dwarf caiman, or Paleosuchus palpebrosus, is the smallest species of the crocodilian family with a total length averaging 1.4m for males and 1.2m for females.

Crocodilians are the closest animal to the extinct dinosaurs and have been in existence for more than 200 million years.

Residing in the aquariums warmer waters are the Atlantic horseshoe crabs, Limulus polyphemus, which are more closely related to spiders and scorpions than crabs. They have 10 eyes, their blood is blue and can live up to 30 years. Originating 450m years ago, horseshoe crabs are considered living fossils but the species is vulnerable as a result of over harvesting and habitat loss.

Sharks first appeared over 420m years ago and have been around longer than almost any other animal. Native to Australia, the Port Jackson, Heterodontus portusjacksoni, species retains similar characteristics to its 100m-year-old ancestors.