Browse All Species

Marine fish

Western clownfish (anemonefish) Amphiprion ocellaris

These fish live in a mutually symbiotic partnership with anemones. While most fish avoid anemones because of the stinging cells in their tentacles, the clownfish is coated with protective mucus, which enables it to swim freely in… Read more

Freshwater fish

Common carp (alien) Cyprinus carpio

Naturally occurring in Central Asia and parts of Europe, common carp are now found in many parts of the world.  Like most other alien species, they are hardy and can tolerate a wide range of conditions, thriving in dams and large… Read more


Green sea turtle Chelonia mydas

Green turtles are so named because the fat layer underneath the carapace (shell) is green! The external colour of these turtles ranges from a very dark brown to a light brown mottled colour. Green turtles and loggerhead turtles… Read more


Western leopard toad Amietophrynus pantherinus

The Western leopard toad uses camouflage to blend into its environment and hide from predators. The Western Cape is the only place in the world where you will find Western leopard toads. They live in natural vegetation, on… Read more

Marine invertebrates

Nippled sea fan Eunicella papillosa

Sea fans are related to soft corals. They look like small trees, but they are actually colonies of animals (polyps) living together in the shape of a fan. Each polyp has eight feathery tentacles.  When the polyps come out to… Read more


African penguin Spheniscus demersus

African penguins are found only off the coastlines of South Africa and Namibia.  They commonly breed on islands, but there are two land-based colonies – one on Boulders Beach, near Simonstown, and the other on Stony Point, near… Read more

Microscopic life


Life depends on plankton. Plankton is made up of microscopic plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zooplankton). Zooplankton feed on phytoplankton and drift with the currents. Plankton are very important in the marine food chain.… Read more