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. As well as an impressive school of large Horse-eye jacks, you will see a wide variety of sharks and rays including our Green sawfish – the only place in the UK where you can see them.
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. The largest turtle, Sensa is female. Her name means ‘beakless’ or ‘without beak’ in Italian. Her shell (carapace) is approximately 1 metre in length and she weighs around 100kg. 'Mabouche' means ‘my mouth’ in French. She is estimated to be between 15 and 20 years old and weighs around 40kg.
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.
You can see the turtles taking their first proper swim here in this short video.
ABOUT ENDLESS OCEAN
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 helps them withstand 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 also see 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.