2.5 million litres of water and 87 tonnes of salt make this display home to some of the most incredible animals in the sea. See our stunning pair of Green sawfish (there are only 6 of this species in Europe), pair of Loggerhead sea turtles as well as a whole host of other sharks and rays as you pass by The Deep’s biggest tank.
A TURTLE-Y AMAZING NEW HOME
The Deep’s Loggerhead sea turtles have settled into life at The Deep very well since arriving in early 2017. This loveable duo, named Sensa and Mabouche joined us from Aquatopia in Belgium, following the aquarium's closure.
Both Sensa and Mabouche were rescued from the wild after being caught on fisherman’s long lines in the Mediterranean, which damaged their lower jaws. Even after rehabilitation at a special centre in Italy, it was decided they couldn’t go back into the wild as they wouldn’t be able to catch their own food so Aquatopia had been looking after them since 2011.
Sensa (short for Senza Becco which is Italian for "without beak") was rescued from Pescara (Central Italy, Adriatic sea) in January 2001 where she had been stranded. She was transferred to Acquario di Cattolica in Italy weighing just 3.5kg where she was looked after for several years before returning to the rehabilitation facility in 2009, when she had grown considerably.
Mabouche (which is French for "my mouth") was found in difficulty at the mouth of Tevere River in the Lazio region (Rome area) in October 2005. She weighed 11.15kg on arrival to the rehabilitation facility. Mabouche also has some healed damage to her carapace where she was hit by a boat propeller and as a result, she has some nerve damage and tends not to use her back flippers much. To help her build up strength we do 'sea turtle aerobics’ with her, which consists of us offering up resistance so she has to push against us and use her flippers.
Both turtles are now just over 1m in size - Mabouche is the youngest of the pair and is between 15 and 20 years old and weighs 40kg, Senza Becco is slightly older between 25 and 30 years and weighs around 100kg.
They are both very used to human interaction, meaning they are happy to be touched so we can clean their shells easily and give them health checks
You can see the turtles taking their first proper swim here in this short video.
ABOUT ENDLESS OCEAN
The view into the Endless Ocean shows you what it would be like to dive into the open waters of the warm oceans. Schools of fish swim by and you could have a chance encounter with our sharks.
Pressure increases the deeper you dive, with the biggest change being at only 10 metres down where pressure is double that at the surface. It is equivalent to two kilograms pressing on every square centimetre of your body. We are affected by pressure because we have air-filled spaces in our lungs and sinuses. In comparison, many sea creatures are made mostly of fluid which withstands the effects of pressure.
Fish tend to swim in schools when out in open water as a means of protection from sharks and other predators. This reduces the individual’s chances of being picked off and eaten. Following in another fish’s wake can also save them energy.
In this exhibit you will see a wide variety of sharks including Nurse sharks, White tip reef sharks, Grey reef sharks and Zebra sharks as well as Honeycomb whiptail rays and Southern stingrays.
Back to The Deep Tour
Feeding the fish
During the week (Monday to Friday), our daily dive show takes place here at 2pm. See our divers enter the water and hand feed all the animals (Monday, Wednesday and Friday only) as well as hearing a presentation from our guides about the species that reside here. On Tuesday and Thursday, our divers carry out a maintenance dive.
This sluggish shark likes to rest at the bottom during the day. It searches for food by pushing its blunt head into crevices. It tastes potential food with the two barbels on its chin. Our male nurse shark (Timothy) joined us in 2014 and weighs a whopping 15 stone and is over 2.5 metres long.
The sawfish uses its tooth-lined snout to slash through a shoal of fish then it eats the ones that are injured or dead. The green sawfish is endangered due to over-fishing.
Honeycomb Whiptail ray
Also known as the Leopard ray, this member of the stingray lives in the Indo-Pacific. The design on its back is as individual as our finger print is to us and its tail is twice the length of its body.
Also known as 'Eddie', groupers usually feed on large fishes and large adults can weigh over 100 kgs. They have little to fear because of their size, which makes them inquisitive and bold. They can grow to the size of a small car (like a mini).
White tip reef shark
The White Tip Reef shark has a patch on the tips of its tail and back fin. It mainly rests in caves or on sand during the day. At night, it swims in search of spiny lobsters, crabs, fishes and octopuses to eat.
Young sharks are striped like zebras. Adults have blotches like leopards, which is why this shark is also called the leopard shark. The Zebra shark can squeeze into crevices to catch shellfish and small fish. They tend to live by themselves near the bottom.
Loggerhead sea turtle
These incredible reptiles got their name from their oversized head. Loggerhead sea turtles live in oceans all around the world, except in the coldest seas far north and south, near the Earth’s poles. They are the most common turtle species found in the Mediterranean.