Skip to content

5 Aquarium animals you should meet this holiday!

By Ethan Smit
- Animals, Conservation, Fish, Membership, Not On Our Watch, Penguins, Sharks
5 Aquarium animals you should meet this holiday!

When it comes to marine animals, there's so much to see and learn at the Two Oceans Aquarium, making it quite easy to miss some of the gems we have with us. Many visitors come to see their faves, or spend time chasing their excited kids around and don't really get to enjoy the full Aquarium experience. For this reason, we thought we'd give you some help by letting you in on these five animals (among the many others) that you should meet on your Aquarium visit: 

Moray eels

DSC04710 2

The moray eel family (Muraenidae) is a big one, consisting of 15 genera and 200 different species - four of which, are housed at the Two Oceans Aquarium. We'll go with these first as it will more than likely be among the first animals you see on your visit. The Aquarium is home to a floral moray eel, a honeycomb moral eel, a geometric moray eel, and a zebra moray eel. 

These snake-like fish are quite shy and tend to dwell under ledges and in rock crevices. Moray eels possess a very good sense of smell, which combined with their second set of jaws situated in the throat, makes it easier for them to secure their prey. Despite not being generally aggressive, the bacteria in their teeth means that one bite from these beauties can quickly become infected.



What better time to meet South Africa's national fish, than during the 2023 Rugby World Cup, where our Springboks are on their way to bringing home the gold! These historic fish represent our country's rich heritage, and should definitely be on your ''must-see'' Aquarium list. 

Galjoen are mid-sized fish, with oval-shaped, flattened bodies with symmetrical dorsal and anal fins giving them a distinctive shape, especially when they raise their spines in defence. Most of these fish are nearly-black, helping them to blend into the rocky coastlines they prefer, but they can change to pale bronze when around the coast. They are known to grow to about 7kg and over half a metre in length. 

Ragged-tooth sharks

3 E1 A2851 Large

Although these fascinating animals are quite hard to miss and are wildly popular among our visitors, the focus on educating the public and altering the perception regarding sharks is a priority. These ''raggies'' are amazing ambassadors for their species, and are with us in attempts to spread awareness around the misconception of sharks in general. 

As humans, we are often led to believe that sharks are dangerous creatures that should be feared. This notion is portrayed in movies, books, pop culture, traditions, and in so many other ways. Sharks have been incorrectly labelled "monsters of the sea", and have been given minimal opportunity to prove themselves to be otherwise. ”Courtesy of ourSave Our Seas Foundation Shark Exhibit, Visitors to the Aquarium are able to learn about the true nature of these animals and why they are some of our most beloved. 

Moon jelly

Jelly 7 D Warmerdam

Our mesmerising Jelly Gallery is home to some of the most beautiful moon jellies, which are so named because of their ghostly, transparent bells. These jellies have short tentacles that are armed with stinging cells, or “nematocysts”, that are fortunately not toxic or painful. 

Moon jellies are one of the most widespread jelly species in the world and are found throughout most of the world’s oceans. These animals and the exhibit they're in has definitely been a hit among our visitors over the years. 

African penguin

3 E1 A8343

Did you know that at their current rate of decline, African penguins will be functionally extinct in the wild within 20 years? By 2035, some colonies which have thrived on the South African coastline for hundreds of years will be no more. On 1 March 2023, the #NotOnOurWatch campaign was launched to raise awareness of the urgent plight of the African penguin. The campaign is supported by several conservation organisations including WWF-SA, Endangered Wildlife Trust, SAAMBR, SANCCOB, Birdlife South Africa, African Penguin and Seabird Sanctuary, Dyer Island Conservation Trust, Animal Ocean, and Nelson Mandela University.

Come and pay the African penguins at the Two Oceans Aquarium a visit and learn more about the plight of the African penguin and what you can do to make a difference! 

Related News

Sign up to our Newsletter

Receive monthly news, online courses and conservation programmes.

Go to external page: SIGN UP TODAY