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The piranhas come to Birmingham

This week Olly has been on his half-term break from school and as many local parents will know, the National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham is an excellent place for little ones to explore life under the seas when the weather is unpredictable. We had heard that there was a new attraction in the centre too so headed into town to discover what was new and keep warm. 

Getting face to fin with the piranhas

The latest attraction at the National Sea Life Centre is the addition of a walk through tunnel where visitors are surrounded by red-bellied piranhas. Olly loves to walk through the tunnels and gaze in amazement at the fish so having a new species of fish to look at so closely was brilliant.

National Sea Life Centre, Birmingham Piranhas

Photo courtesy of the National Sea Life Centre, Birmingham

Jonny Rudd, the aquarium curator said “the new piranha encounter will appeal to the explorer in all of us, it’s a real jungle expedition through the mysterious waters of the rainforest, and you’ll get a close encounter with some of the Amazon’s most formidable creatures – if you’re brave enough!

Despite their fearsome reputation, piranhas are threatened in the face of environmental issues due to their habitat. Living in freshwater rivers, the silver scaled creatures typically live in water ranging between 23 and 27 °C. The red-bellied piranha in particular is widely distributed across the South American continent, meaning it is subject to the threats currently facing the Amazon rainforest including illegal logging, damming and mining pollution.

Half-term fun

As with every school holiday, there’s an event on at the National Sea Life Centre and this February half term saw children being able to take part in a new discovery experience ‘Stars of the Seas’. Little ones were able to experience the vast selection of marine life from octopuses to turtles and take centre stage in an interactive puzzle trail in the life-size version of Stars and Ladders.

Pre-book to avoid the queues

Visiting the Sea Life Centre in half-term is a busy affair. Lots of families had the same idea as us and were visiting during their half term break from school. Luckily we had our annual passes but those without a ticket had to queue (it’s definitely worth while pre-booking in advance).

We had a lovely couple of hours in the National Sea Life Centre and introduced Freddie to one of Olly’s favourite local attractions. We loved seeing the penguins and seeing the sea turtle so closely (he was resting at the bottom of the tunnel). We will most definitely be back during the Easter holidays to see how the piranhas are settling and maybe we might catch a glimpse at the Octopus (that is always hiding from view when we visit).

To find out more about what you can see at the National Sea Life Centre and to pre-book your tickets visit the website here.

Disclosure: We have Annual Passes for the National Sea Life Centre as part of their family ambassador scheme. 

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