Easter Egg Facts – Riveting Reptiles

St Andrews Aquarium invites visitors to get ‘Down with the Dinosaurs’ this Summer

The popular Fife visitor attraction, St Andrews Aquarium has released pictures of it’s newest exhibit, Down with the Dinosaurs, a fossil trail through the Jurassic Age, just in time for the school summer holidays starting.

The new exhibit welcomes visitors and takes them on a Jurassic journey back in time, to view dinosaur fossil displays packed full of interesting information and fun facts. The dino display guides visitors down into the aquarium to the start of their animal adventure.

Speaking of the new exhibit Managing Director and Owner, John Mace commented; “We are delighted with how our new exhibit has turned out. The staircase down into the aquarium is a space that we have long wanted to turn into a feature and the new Down with the Dinosaurs exhibit will entertain and educate our visitors, and add to the overall experience. As a family-owned aquarium we have always strived to created the best possible experience, and value for money, we’ve already had great feedback about the new exhibit from parent of children obsessed with Dinosaurs.”

St Andrews Aquarium, Scotland’s only family-owned aquarium, welcomes tens of thousands of visitors each year, who enjoy getting to know each of the 120 species of animals on display at the centre on the East Coast of Fife. St Andrews Aquarium is open from 10am 7 days a week.

St Andrews Aquarium announces birth of Scotland’s newest resident Meerkat

Top Scottish visitor attraction, St Andrews Aquarium has announced the new arrival of what is thought to be Scotland’s newest Meerkat baby, who is set to thrill visitors and tourists throughout the Summer holidays.

Six months ago, the team at St Andrews Aquarium made the decision to bring some younger meerkats into the aquarium again, rehousing a four-year-old female, Simone, and a two-year-old male, Max, who moved into a newly created ‘nursery’ enclosure. The new ‘couple’ settled in quickly and gave birth to a tiny Meerkitten a few days ago.

Speaking of the new arrival John Mace added; “We are delighted to welcome our newest resident who is now three weeks old. Our team have been helping to look after the new arrival who is now starting to explore the nursery enclosure with mum and dad. Having had a few litters over the years, I know this latest arrival will be just as popular with our visitors who will make the trip during the school holidays.”

Twelve years ago, John Mace, the Managing Director and owner of the east coast attraction, made a surprising announcement that they were building a new enclosure to welcome a group of three Meerkats that needed to be rehomed. Over the past twelve years the aquarium has welcomed three litters of Meerkittens, who have been entertaining visitors ever-since.

Talking about the decision to bring Meerkats to the centre, Managing Director John Mace commented; “I accept that Meerkats in an aquarium may be a bit unusual, but it has allowed our team to expand the topics of education that we deliver to our visitors. We have been able to show different habitats, whilst discussing issues outside of marine life, such as desertification. The Meerkats have been a big hit with our guests since the day they arrived and I’m sure the new arrive will be the same.

St Andrews Aquarium, Scotland’s only family-owned aquarium, welcomes tens of thousands of visitors each year, who enjoy getting to know each of the 120 species of animals on display at the centre on the East Coast of Fife. St Andrews Aquarium is open from 10am 7 days a week.

St Andrews Aquarium celebrates as new seal pup is born

St Andrews Aquarium in Fife has today revealed its delight at finding a new seal pup born to mum Nelly.

The aquarium’s common seals are one of the aquarium’s longest-standing attractions, featuring Nelly the matriarch and males Luna, Dug, and Silver. Last week, keepers were delighted to find that overnight Nelly had given birth to a pup, and the group of four has now become a thriving family of five!

While the pup is a new addition for the aquarium team, mum and baby are healthy and happy, and the pup is already making itself at home, looked after by Nelly the doting mother.

The seals are one of the aquarium’s most popular attractions, and love making a splash for hundreds of adoring visitors each day. The aquarium, which is focused on both conservation and education, is home to more than 120 animals from around the world and an ever-expanding collection of critically endangered species.

John Mace, Managing Director at St Andrews Aquarium, said “Our seals are a really important part of the aquarium family, and visitors always enjoy meeting and learning about them.

Our keepers had been keeping a close eye on Nelly who we suspected might be pregnant, and to find a new pup waiting for us was just wonderful.

While mother and baby settle into their new lives together we’ll get on with the exciting job of naming the aquarium’s newest arrival. With the 150th Open taking place at the home of golf just yards away from us soon we could name the pup after the winner, or perhaps we’ll ask the public for their ideas. Watch this space!”

St Andrews Aquarium is one of the most popular visitor attractions in North East Scotland, and is open seven days a week. A great day out for all the family in the stunning coastal town of St Andrews, the aquarium offers feeding experiences and is home to a stunning array of wildlife.

Aquarium’s residents launch an emotional appeal to public to help

The fishy, furry and feathery residents of St Andrews Aquarium in Fife have launched an emotive appeal to the public today to see if they can help them with the costs of food, heat, light and their keepers while the Aquarium is closed to the public due to the impact of COVID-19.

St Andrews Aquarium is home to over 1000 different animals who all still require the same level of care and attention, even though the venue is officially closed to the public. The appeal states “Every day the humans spend about £50 on food (we like food), £90 on heat and light, and around £160 on a small team of keepers (we like them a lot, they play with us).”

A special donation page has been set up, encouraging the public to donate from £5 to “feed the fish” and includes options to “perk up the penguins” and “send love to the seals”.

John Mace, owner of St Andrews Aquarium, commented:

“Like so many businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic, we have done our level best to comply with the lockdown restrictions but, unlike so many venues, we can’t simply close the doors and walk away. Our animals require exactly the same level of care and nourishment that they always get and that means we have to keep a team of keepers in position, as well as pay for the ongoing costs of heat, light and food. Those costs are beginning to really mount up.”

“We’ve been doing our bit to keep the public entertained during the lockdown, with regular videos of the animals. We now ask if the public can help us out a little. £5 might not feel like much but every little donation will help the animals. By way of saying thank you, when we are all through this, we plan to do something very special for those who can help us out at this time.”

Fife Pocket Money Powers Australian Wildlife Fundraiser

Young visitors to St Andrews Aquarium in Fife over the mid-term break have collectively raised £612 in aid of an Australian wildlife rescue organization (WIRES) that is battling the catastrophic effects of the recent bushfires, through a series of fundraising initiatives organized by the Fife visitor attraction.

WIRES (The New South Wales Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service) has been dealing with unprecedented levels of tens of thousands of calls to its helpline and thousands of call outs to rescue native animals affected by a lack of water, food and damage to their habitats. The devastating fires combined with the worst drought in history and record high temperatures have taken a tragic toll on native wildlife with many animals struggling as a result.

The fundraising activities were drummed up by the team at the Aquarium, who were frequently being asked by younger visitors to the attraction if there was anything that the Aquarium could do to rescue the animals affected by the bushfire.

John Mace, general manager of St Andrews Aquarium, commented:

“Young people care passionately about the planet and animals and we were increasingly being asked whether we would be taking in animals that had lost their homes due to the horrific conditions caused by the bushfires. While we’re a little too far away to be of immediate assistance, it got us thinking about what we could do to help and our team devised easy ways that the kids could fundraise around the Aquarium and help do their bit. It was simple things, like donating all the income from the kiddie rides in our foyer area, to donations for quiz sheets when they were visiting. We ran the fundraising activities over the mid-term break to make sure we got the most kids involved. It just goes to show the collective power of pocket money in helping to make a difference thousands of miles away.”

The donations to WIRES will contribute to directly support the animals in their care.

To find out more about St Andrews Aquarium www.standrewsaquarium.co.uk

It’s Love-All for Andy’s Baby Penguin

St Andrews Aquarium in Fife has this week has revealed the first official images of their 15-week old baby Humboldt penguin, Nathaniel, whose penguin parents are named after the tennis player Andy Murray and his Dad, William.

The baby penguin, who has already been waddling gleefully around his new enclosure for a few weeks, hatched into this world on 26th October 2019. It is the first Humboldt penguin to be successfully bred at St Andrews Aquarium who are part of a breeding programme to protect the future of this vulnerable species of penguin.

The Humboldt penguins have been resident at St Andrews Aquarium since 2013, with one named Andy in honour of the Scots tennis player’s Wimbledon win that same year. The other female penguins were named after Andy’s Mum Judy, then girlfriend Kim and grandmother Shirley while the male penguins, which followed in 2014, were named after the men in the Murray clan: Jamie, William and Roy after Andy’s brother, father and grandfather.

The baby penguin has been nicknamed Nathaniel, Greek for ‘Gift of God’, by the Aquarium team, although the baby penguin’s sex will not be known until a blood test is performed in another couple of weeks. Nathaniel is pictured waddling around his enclosure with his Uncle Roy, while Mum and Dad took a well earned break. In true Olympic spirit, befitting of his Greek nickname and sporting lineage, he’s already developed a taste for swimming in the natural saltwater pool with keepers remarking that he won’t even eat his dinner unless he gets to go underwater fishing for it first.

John Mace, general manager of St Andrews Aquarium, commented:

Nathaniel has been a real joy for us as we’ve seen him successfully develop and adapt to this, somewhat inclement, Scottish weather over the last 15 weeks. He’s got his feathering now, although his Humboldt markings are not yet showing, and he’s looking very cute – every bit the baby penguin! He’s reacting well to people and pretty much taking it all in his stride (or, wobble!). Mum and Dad are rightfully protective of him, but with their help he’s already mastered swimming, is feeding well and has made himself at home. His Uncle Roy also keeps a watchful eye on him, penguin-sitting him while Mum and Dad get a break from the joys of parenthood. We can’t wait to find out whether he is actually a boy or a girl, but it will be a couple of weeks before we know for sure.”

Members of the public can now meet Nathaniel when they are visiting and the keepers hold a daily penguin talk at 2pm. St Andrews Aquarium is open seven days a week in winter from 10am – 5pm, with last entry in winter at 4pm.

To find out more about St Andrews Aquarium www.standrewsaquarium.co.uk

St Andrews Aquarium meerkats start the new decade in a new den

With most of us striving to keep the house in check after the Christmas festivities, spare a thought for the team at St Andrews Aquarium who battled against the advent clock to finish off a new enclosure for their family of thirteen meerkats.

The new enclosure, which re-opened this week, has almost doubled in size and comes with the added bonus of 30 metres of tunnels in which the meerkats can now play hide and seek.

John Mace, general manager of St Andrews Aquarium, commented:

“We’re really pleased that we managed to finish the meerkat enclosure just before Christmas – our playful meerkats are very popular with visitors and since they’ve been with us now for almost a decade we felt it was time their home had a bit of a spruce up. We have refreshed the enclosure over the years, but this was a fairly major extension and I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out. The meerkats have been settling in over the last few days while we’ve been enjoying the festive break and seem to very much enjoy their new tunnel system.”

St Andrews Aquarium is open seven days a week in winter from 10am – 5pm, with last entry in winter at 4pm. The Aquarium is closed on New Year’s Day.

To find out more about St Andrews Aquarium www.standrewsaquarium.co.uk