The Two Oceans Aquarium considers itself a big family, and the animals here are a special part. From our African penguins to the clownfish, every group of animals belongs to a family. The unique families at the Aquarium are more like yours than you think…
Birds of a feather waddle together
The African penguins at the Two Oceans Aquarium are known to mate for life. African penguins live for up to 20 years in the wild and most are incredibly loyal to their chosen partner. 80 – 90% of African penguin couples stay together for as long as they live. At the Aquarium, we think along the same lines – family is forever!
We bet you didn’t know common eagle rays give birth to live young! Common eagle rays are ovoviviparous, which means embryos hatch within the uterus and feed on yolk and uterine fluid before they are birthed. New-born rays are completely independent and start swimming almost immediately. Check out this incredible footage to see a common eagle ray give birth! The little rays in the Diversity Gallery are young, and when they’re ready, they will join their families in the I&J Ocean Exhibit. Everyone, even a common eagle ray, needs a little personal space now and then!
Modern family (of seahorses)
Male seahorses have a “pouch” like female kangaroos! The male seahorses give birth to the offspring – the female lays her eggs in the male’s pouch, and when they are ready, the babies hatch out of the pouch into the water. We think seahorse dads deserve a “Best Dad in the Ocean” mug! Human dads: watch out!
Northern rockhopper penguins are one of the loudest penguin species. They use a particular honking noise when signalling that there is a predator nearby, and another when they’re warning other penguins to give them some personal space. Northern rockhoppers also have unique calls for their partners and offspring. Although it can sound as though the rockhoppers at the Aquarium are yelling at one another, they’re usually just doing their morning greetings… So, when your parent shouts at you to “be careful” or “wear something warmer”, it means they love you!
Clowning around is the best parenting strategy
Clownfish are unlike most fish in many ways. While many fish species release their eggs into the currents to drift away, clownfish attach their eggs to rocks under the mantle of their anemone home, where they are protected while they grow. Talk about wanting the best for your kids…
The Two Oceans Aquarium is home to a bunch of unique families. We’re sure that you can relate to them – your family could be loyal like an African penguin, dedicated like a seahorse dad, independent like an eagle ray, loud like a rockhopper penguin, or protective like a clownfish. Come visit the Aquarium and find out which family is most like your own!