The festive season brought plenty of newcomers to the Two Oceans Aquarium. These five new "Cardinal fins" were definitly on Scuba Claus' nautical list!

What is a cardinal anyway? 

Cardinals, or cardinalfishes, are a diverse family of 370 species that inhabit all of the entire ocean, brackish waters and even a few freshwater systems. They vary widely in colour and size, but all cardinals have three things in common: Big mouths, are nocturnal predators and have two dorsal fins.

The Two Oceans Aquarium recently became home to five of these special species, so let's meet the cardinals!

Iridescent cardinalfish

Photo by Devon Bowen/Two Oceans Aquarium.

The iridescent cardinalfish is a shy little fish, but has a secret. When it gets a little older it is going to lose some of its drab colours and its dorsal fins will turn neon yellow!

Striped cardinalfish

Photo by Devon Bowen/Two Oceans Aquarium.

Like an underwater candy cane, the striped cardinalfish is quite stripey! It is a nocturnal predator, hunting small crustaceans and even baby starfish.

Threeband cardinal

Photo by Devon Bowen/Two Oceans Aquarium.

This is one elusive fish - the threeband cardinal is very shy. You can usually find it hiding next to the honeycomb moray eel for protection.

Redbarred cardinal

Photo by Devon Bowen/Two Oceans Aquarium.

This unassuming fish uses its numbers for protection, forming groups that stay in open waters where it can have the best view. Look closely and you can see its orange stripes shimmering.

Ring-tailed cardinal

Photo by Devon Bowen/Two Oceans Aquarium.

We think the golden-coloured ring-tailed cardinal is the prettiest one calling the Two Oceans Aquarium home. Definitely a fish that brightens up the Tree of Life.

Do you have a favourite Festive Season fish that you think lights up the holiday? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram and we may feature your memories!

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