amazon world zoo park isle of wight tourist attraction

Fish & Amphibians

These families of animal are totally reliant on water. Fish live in it all their lives and Amphibians at least part of it. Both families are vertebrates (have a bony spinal column) but differ in the way that they breath and reproduce.

red-bellied piranhaRed-Bellied Piranha

This fearsome predator gathers in shoals (groups) and attacks larger animals that may be swimming or have fallen into the water. Attracted by blood from fresh wounds or the thrashing around of a swimming or injured animal they are famed for being able to strip flesh off a carcass in a very short space of time. However not all Piranhas are meat eaters the closely related Pacu only eat fruit.


 

red oscarRed Oscar

Related to the Cichlid family of Africa and Asia it has become popular with fish keepers around the world. This strangely named fish can be found with a variety of different markings including: stripes (Tiger Oscar) and there is also an albino form. Although aggressive to other fish it is not a fierce predator like the Piranha but will eat a wide range of foods.




garr fishGarr Fish

‘Garr’ means spear and after looking at this fish you can see how it got its name! Similar in shape and behaviour to our native Pike it is not as aggressive and will live quite happily with other fish too large to be prey.




horned frogHorned Frog

This huge frog can grow to over 20cms long! Easily recognised by the 'Horns' above it's eyes it preys on fish, other frogs and even small rodents like mice. It spends most of its time keeping moist in damp mossy undergrowth but ventures out during heavy rainfall to breeding in shallow pools of water. When disturbed this frog can become quite aggressive this has made them part of legend and superstition in parts of South America. In some places native people make high leather boots called 'botas escuerzas' to protect against attacks from this frog!

 

Poison Dart Frog

poison dart frogThese tiny South American frogs (2-5cm) are some of the most brilliantly coloured animals in the world! There are around 65 different species but although all secrete poisonous toxins from their skin only 3 species have been identified as having been used by native people to tip the darts for their blowpipes. These frogs have no predators and are very bold and active during daylight. Some species have been bred successfully in captivity but some females take special care of their young even laying unfertilised eggs for them to feed from. This is behaviour that we have yet to encourage them to reproduce in a controlled environment. As these beautiful frogs are only found in the rainforest, deforestation is their biggest threat.

 

Axolotyl

Related to the Cichlid family of Africa and Asia it has become popular with fish keepers around the world. This strangely named fish can be found with a variety of different markings including: stripes (Tiger Oscar) and there is also an albino form. Although aggressive to other fish it is not a fierce predator like the Piranha but will eat a wide range of foods.

 

Molluscs & Crustaceans

giant land snalGiant African Land Snails

This unusual member of the Newt and Salamander family occurs in Mexico. It is one of the only amphibians to become sexually mature during its larval form. If it remains in totally aquatic conditions it will quite happily survive and lay eggs where most other amphibians need the 'dry land' stage to enable them to reproduce. However if the water in which the Axolotl lives starts to dry up it will begin metamorphosis into its adult form (called the Mexican Salamander) and breed when conditions allow.

Land Hermit Carabs

Crustaceans are animals that have no internal skeleton but do have a hard outer casing instead of soft skin. Again this is for protection and to make sure that they do not dehydrate. Crabs have a hard shell covering their internal organs but Hermit Crabs have evolved to take advantage of the discarded shells of dead molluscs. They find a shell of a suitable size and insert their unprotected body into it only leaving their armoured legs sticking out. As they grow they simply find a larger shell and 'move house', swapping their old shell for a new larger one.

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