17 October 2012

Let your animals meet ours: Hagfish

Our ocean is filled with an array of creatures, some aesthetically pleasing and others less so, but they are all fascinating to discover, research and encounter.

One such creature of the deep is the hagfish. While not conventionally beautiful – the hagfish may look like a snake or eel but is neither – it plays an important role in recycling dead animals on the seabed, thereby keeping the ecosystem in tiptop shape. Known as oceanic oozers, these critters secrete a white, slimy fluid which expands in seawater, and are famous for the amount of slime they can produce in a short amount of time.

Hagfish facts:

  • The sticky slime they secrete adheres to predators and forms a layer over their gills, suffocating them.
  • The hagfish has developed a trick which allows it to escape its own slime. The oozer knots its tail, twists the knot over its body and scrapes off the slime.
  • Hagfish have no jaws, eyes, fins or scales.
  • As hagfish have no teeth, they cannot eat scaly fish. They feed on small, live fish; soft, rotting carcasses, or on animals that have already been opened.
  • Hagfish have pouch-like gills, which aren’t found in any other fish.

If you would like a closer look at these slimy suckers, and other creepy creatures of the deep, join us at this year’s aSCAREium, which takes place on Saturday, 27 October 2012.

A night of fun, mystery, excitement and laughter awaits you and your family. Come dressed as one of our fantastic and magical little animals – a hagfish, moray eel, devil firefish – or a crime-fighting superhero, slimy zombie, mermaid, princess or whatever else your clever mind can conjure up.

From 19h00 you and your family will enjoy an evening of face-painting, magic shows, games and arts and crafts, while also experiencing the magical and mysterious world of the ocean and learning about its captivating inhabitants. Book tickets for aSCAREium today!

Space is limited, so book your tickets online.

The aSCAREium will be open from 19h00 until 22h00, and should be great fun for all children under the age of 13.

For more information about the aSCAREium and the Two Oceans Aquarium, please contact our members centre on +27 (0)21 418 3823 or email members@aquarium.co.za.

To see the slimy sucker in action, view the video below:

Stay in touch: For daily Aquarium updates, follow us on Twitter (@2OceansAquarium) and become a fan on Facebook.

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