Giants have long been part of our myths and folklore - but these five "giant" species are the real legends of the Two Oceans Aquarium. Let's take a look at the oceanic giants you will encounter on your Aquarium visit:

Giant stingray

The giant stingray (Dasyatis brevicaudata), more commonly called a short-tail stingray, is by far the largest stingray in the world - growing up to 2,1m across and weighing over 350kg. This species is peaceful - one that tourists enjoy diving with, but its defensive barb is a reminder that nature needs to be respected.

Giant spider crab

The giant, or Japanese, spider crab (Macrocheira kaempferi) is a remarkable animal - it can reach a leg span of over 5,5m and weigh about 19kg. Not only is it the largest arthropod alive on Earth today, but it is are the largest species of crab that has ever lived. All the way from Japan, our spider crabs undertook an incredible  journey to South Africa!

Giant kob

This silver colossus, the giant kob (Argyrosomus japonicus), also called the dusky kob or daga salmon in South Africa, is one of the largest (if not the largest) member of the Sciaenidae - a family that includes kobs, drums and croakers. It can grow up to 2m long and easily weigh more than 75kg. Overfishing has put it at risk - it is one of the SASSI red-listed species you can learn to recognise at the Aquarium.

Photo courtesy of Geoff Spiby.

Giant guitarfish

The giant guitarfish (Rhynchobatus djiddensis) is a cartilaginous fish, like sharks and rays. This bottom feeder is by far the largest species of guitarfish in the world, growing up to 3,1m long and over 230kg! The strange-looking guitarfish is just one aspect of the incredible diversity of the I&J Ocean Exhibit.

Giant grouper

Buzz is a giant grouper (Epinephelus lanceolatus), or a brindle bass as we prefer to call it here in South Africa. The brindle bass changes colour throughout its life and can grow to over 4m long and weigh more than half a ton. Little Buzz is still a wee grouper - but that doesn't mean he isn't secretly awesome.

Image courtesy of Bruno Nogueira.

Which of these giants is your favourite? Perhaps you like your sea creatures a bit smaller? Snap some photos and show us your favourite ocean giants on Instagram on your next visit.

(Cover image courtesy of Lilly Creightmore)

blog comments powered by Disqus