“I’m a granny all over again” tweets Judy Murray after visiting her penguin “family” at St Andrew’s Aquarium

Judy Murray tweeted she’s “a granny all over again” after visiting her new “grandchildren” at St Andrew’s Aquarium.

The 58-year-old former Strictly Come Dancing star popped into the Fife visitor attraction this week to visit the Humboldt penguin family that were named after her own famous clan – Judy, Shirley, Kim and Andy.

And she was delighted to discover one had recently hatched two chicks.

She tweeted: “Feeding the Murray penguin family at wonderful St Andrews Aquarium yesterday. Andy Penguin has had two babies so I’m a granny all over again.”

She added: “Judy Penguin was moulting (but still gorgeous) and thankfully she has inherited the family catching skills.”

Return of the Mac: Six-foot mackerel statue is back at St Andrew’s Aquarium after mysterious disappearance

Staff at St Andrew’s Aquarium are celebrating the return of their beloved six-foot mackerel statue which disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

The eye-catching model – nicknamed Big Mac – has been standing guard outside the popular Fife visitor attraction for the last four years.

However, Aquarium staff noticed something fishy was afoot following recent graduation festivities when Big Mac wasn’t in his usual spot.

John Mace, Managing Director of St Andrews Aquarium, commented:
“I’m delighted to report that Big Mac has been returned to the Aquarium. He’s looking a little bit worse for wear after his recent adventures, but once he’s had some attention he’ll be back outside the Aquarium welcoming visitors as usual.”

St Andrews Aquarium welcomes two seals to their marine family

A pair of adventurous Common Seals have travelled from the Norfolk coast to Fife to find a permanent new home in Scotland. Dug and Silver made the long, incredible journey by road to their new residence at St Andrews Aquarium from Hunstanton Sea Life Centre.

Dug, a one-year old rescue seal and Silver, a three-year-old seal born at Hunstanton Sea Life Centre, arrived at St Andrews Aquarium on Friday afternoon and have been given a warm welcome by their new pals, Nelly and Luna who are the aquarium’s two other Common Seals.

Dug and Luna even sealed their new friendship with a kiss when Dug made his way into the water.

The aquarium team are delighted to be growing their seal family, which are always popular with visitors. John Mace, manager at St Andrews Aquarium, said:
“When we heard that Hunstanton Sea life Centre were looking to re-home Dug and Silver so they could have an all-female family of seals, we were only to happy to give them a new home here. We think they will have a great time splashing around in our seal enclosure with Nelly and Luna. Our visitors always enjoy meeting our seal family and the daily feeding times and interactive talks from our keepers are always a big hit!”

A great day out for all the family, St Andrews Aquarium is home to an array of marine wildlife from Humboldt Penguins to Poison Dart Frogs. There’s also an incredible family of sociable meerkats to see and even meet up-close on a feeding experience when exploring the aquarium.

St Andrew’s Aquarium staff “gutted” by the mysterious disappearance of a six-foot mackerel statue called ‘Big Mac’

The net is closing in on brazen thieves who pinched a beloved six-foot mackerel statue from St Andrew’s Aquarium.

The eye-catching model – nicknamed Big Mac – has stood guard outside the popular Fife visitor attraction for the last four years.

However, Aquarium staff noticed something fishy was afoot following last Friday’s graduation festivities when Big Mac wasn’t in his usual spot.

John Mace, Managing Director of St Andrews Aquarium, commented:
“Big Mac went missing from outside the Aquarium overnight on Friday, June 29 and he was last seen heading in the direction of the Town Centre.

“He’s quite heavy and it would probably have taken two or three people to lift him. Staff are gutted by his disappearance and we would love to have him back home. Any information leading to his recovery would be gratefully received.”

John has now launched an appeal to see the statue safely returned, promising that it will be “no questions asked” if Big Mac makes his way home. Fife Police have been informed.

Baby Penguins arrive at St. Andrews Aquarium

Tayside residents are looking forward to this summer’s Maggie’s Penguin Parade, with a colony of colourful giant penguins appearing across Dundee and the surrounding areas over the past few days.

Not to be frozen out… the REAL Humboldt penguins of St Andrew’s Aquarium, and the original inspiration for the Maggie’s models, have hatched their own plans to steal the media spotlight.

The residents of Penguin Cove have recently welcomed two new chicks, much to the delight of the team at the Fife aquarium.

John Mace, Managing Director of St Andrews Aquarium, commented:
“Our colony has reached prime breeding age this year, and we are over the moon to welcome two new chicks to the family. Penguin fever seemed to have peaked with the arrival of our own Maggie’s Centre penguin, which appeared outside our front doors on Wednesday night, but we have a feeling the news of the chicks might push it even further.”

The team at the aquarium are keen to give the chicks and their parents plenty of space however to satisfy the curiosity of their visitors, a video camera and tv screen has been set up inside the centre.

St. Andrews Aquarium have signed up to sponsor one of the 80 Maggie’s penguins, which have been decorated with unique designs by local artists.

For more information  about the Maggie’s Penguin Parade please click here

St Andrews Aquarium hoping for Eggcellent Easter after completing huge winter refurbishment project

Visitors to St Andrew’s Aquarium this Easter will be the first to experience a brand-new exhibition highlighting the wonders of native marine species.

Extensive refurbishment work has taken place over the winter months to create Cold Water Wonders, an engaging new zone packed with fascinating information about native sea life which will open for the Easter holidays.

A unique highlight of the new display is the shark and ray hatchery, which explores the life cycle of the ‘mermaid’s purse’ and allows visitors to watch the baby sharks and rays develop in their transparent eggs before they hatch.

The new exhibit provides more space for the European spiny lobster, turbot, pollock, Atlantic cod and European bass, with two large new tanks for jellyfish and octopus. The impact of plastic on marine life is also examined, with helpful tips on how to reduce this harmful pollution.

Cold Water Wonders is the latest transformation in an ongoing programme of investment that has already seen the Aquarium develop The Reef, refurbish Penguin Cove and launch The Amazing Amazon last year.

John Mace, Managing Director at St Andrews Aquarium, commented on the completion of the new area:

“The development of the Cold Water Wonders has been another significant addition to St Andrews Aquarium and we’re looking forward to hearing feedback from our Easter visitors. We’re continually refurbishing our venue to ensure that our visitors get the very best experience.”

Additional work has been completed throughout the Aquarium and even the most regular of visitors will see lots of new exhibits, including two large additions to The Amazing Amazon -Chinese Water Dragons and Terrapins.

St Andrews Aquarium is open 7 days a week from 10:00am – 6:00pm, with last entry at 5pm.

St Andrew’s Aquarium p-p-p-prepares for a Penguin invasion

Tayside residents are looking forward to this summer’s Maggie’s Penguin Parade, with a colony of colourful giant penguins set to invade Dundee and generate much press coverage.

Not to be frozen out… the REAL Humboldt penguins of St Andrew’s Aquarium, and the original inspiration for the Maggie’s models, are hatching their own plans to steal the media spotlight.

The residents of Penguin Cove are currently incubating four precious eggs, due to join the waddle of penguins at the St Andrew’s attraction just in time for Easter.

John Mace, Managing Director of St Andrews Aquarium, commented:
“Last year, we refurbished the Penguin’s Cove enclosure to ensure more privacy for the mother and potential chicks. Our colony has reached prime breeding age this year, and we are hopeful that the improvements we have made, plus the added maturity of the penguins, will result in a successful breeding this year for this declining species.”

St. Andrews Aquarium have signed up to sponsor one of the 80 Maggie’s penguins, which will be decorated with unique designs by local artists.

The popular family attraction offers a penguin feeding experience, giving visitors the chance to learn all about the penguins, prepare their food and step inside the enclosure for a unique and unforgettable experience.

Humboldt’s are medium-sized penguins and are around 60cm in height and around 4-5kg in weight. Originating from South America, their numbers have been in steady decline over the past decade due to over fishing, habitat destruction and climate change.

St. Andrews Aquarium signs up as sponsor for Maggie’s Penguin Parade

Humboldt Penguins from St Andrews Aquarium’s Penguin are the real-life inspiration behind a colony of colourful giant penguins, set to invade Dundee and its surrounding landscape next summer as part of a Wild in Art fundraising event by Maggie’s Dundee.

St. Andrews Aquarium have signed up to sponsor one of the 100 penguins, which will be decorated with unique designs by local artists.

The tactile Maggie’s penguin sculpture mould was designed by artist and Senior Lecturer at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Janice Aitken after researching penguins at St Andrew’s Aquarium and a penguin specimen at the University of Dundee’s D’Arcy Thomson Museum.

Maggie’s Penguin Parade hopes to be an important fundraising initiative to support the important work of the Maggie’s Centre in Dundee. The trail of individually decorated penguin sculptures will bring together businesses, schools, community groups and creative artists in a series of events culminating in a free and accessible public art trail.

One of eight Scottish multi-award winning, architect-designed centre’s Maggie’s Dundee provides a warm and welcoming place, with qualified professionals on hand to offer free practical and emotional support for people undergoing cancer treatment, and their loved ones.

“Maggie’s Centre is a fantastic charity that delivers an incredibly important service, and knowing that our colony of Humboldt penguins were the creative inspiration for the sculpture, it is only right that we should get involved,” said John Mace, Managing Director of St Andrew’s Aquarium.

World’s smallest crocodiles snap up new enclosure at St Andrews Aquarium

Two West African Dwarf Crocodiles have been busy making themselves at home at St Andrews Aquarium.

Nelson and Desmond have moved into their newly built enclosure at the Fife-based aquarium, which has undergone a wave of refurbishments over the last eighteen months.

The two crocs, which come from the smallest species of crocodiles, are native to the tropical lowland regions of sub-Saharan West Africa and West Central Africa. West African Dwarf Crocodiles grow to around 1.5 meters and weigh around 18-32 kilograms.

John Mace, Managing Director at St Andrews Aquarium, commented on the new display:

“It’s fantastic to see yet another part of St Andrews Aquarium completely refreshed and our new additions settling in well. Over the past three years, we’ve spent a considerable amount of time, effort and money refurbishing many of our animal displays.

John continued:

“The work on the new crocodile tank was scheduled to take place over the winter but after seeing how much our visitors have been enjoying our new Amazing Amazon room, we couldn’t resist starting early. Even our most regular visitors have commented on the difference, which makes all the hard work worth it.”

St Andrews Aquarium has undergone a major refurbishment over the eighteen months, with the opening of The Reef early last year, a re-vamp of the penguin enclosure and the latest new addition, the Amazing Amazon.

St Andrews Aquarium is open 7 days a week from 10:00am – 6:00pm, with last entry at 5pm.

Red-eyed tree frogs hop into the Amazing Amazon at St Andrews Aquarium

St Andrews Aquarium have welcomed one of the world’s most famous and recognisable frogs, the red-eyed tree frog, to its newest area, the Amazing Amazon.

The frogs, which are native to Central and South America, were used in the promotional material for David Attenborough’s latest series ‘Planet Earth II’. The iconic rainforest amphibians have a neon-green body with yellow and blue stripes, webbed orange feet and bulging red eyes, which are used to shock predators and give them a precious moment to dart to safety.

Joining them in the newly opened Amazing Amazon zone are White’s green tree frogs and poison dart frogs, to complete the trio of frog species visitors at St Andrews Aquarium.

John Mace, Managing Director at St Andrews Aquarium, commented on the newest additions:

“The Red-Eyed Tree Frog is one of the most recognisable rainforest frogs and so it seemed only fitting to welcome them to our new Amazon exhibition, where they’ll be in good company with our other species of frogs. We’re sure they will have visitors darting down to St Andrews Aquarium to catch a glimpse of the exciting new additions.”

Five fun facts about the red-eyed tree frog:
1. When red-eyed tree frogs first turn into adult frogs, they are brown with yellow eyes.
2. As with most frogs, females grow larger than males. Adult males are only about 5 cm in length while the females tend to be larger at 7.5 cm.
3. These crafty amphibians have very strong suction cup toe pads and can defy gravity and cling to leaves, sticks, and even glass.
4. They are night time eaters who catch flies, crickets, moths and grasshoppers with their long, sticky tongue. They’ve even been known to eat smaller frogs!
5. The eggs of red-eyed tree frogs can hatch early if they are disturbed by a predator approaching. The eggs can even tell between a genuine threat and a normal disturbance such as heavy rain or wind.

St Andrews Aquarium worked with one of the UK’s leading theming companies on the four-month refurbishment to transport visitors to the Amazing Amazon and also features hundreds of thousands of leaf-cutter ants in an open exhibition.