This half-term, the National Marine Aquarium will be celebrating the biggest animals to have ever lived, whales. From 27 May – 4 June, visitors to the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth can look forward to an exciting array of themed activities and talks exploring these majestic ocean mammals.
With wonderful whale art and craft sessions in the newly developed ‘Creative Centre’, along with a fabulous whale trail around the Aquarium, plus special shows, talks and feeds, visitors will be taken on an exciting and informative journey to learn more about these colossal creatures of the deep.
Paul Botterill, Public Engagement Coordinator at the National Marine Aquarium, commented: “From cheeky dolphins to giant blue whales, we’re encouraging everyone who is interested in these awe-inspiring and often elusive creatures to come along to the Aquarium where they can find out much more through the interactive shows, demonstrations and activities that will be taking place. We’ll be focusing on all the amazing species that can be found around our waters!
“Whales are incredibly important; often sitting at the top of the food chain they have a crucial role in the overall health of the marine environment. It’s therefore hugely important that we protect these very special animals and everyone can help to preserve them for future generations. It’s set to be a brilliant week at the Aquarium for all the family.”
Alongside the whale-themed activities, the National Marine Aquarium will also be hosting its usual amazing Daily Dive Shows and Rockpool Feeds in the Plymouth Sound area, as well as illuminating talks on its new species of sharks and rays. Also set to be stars of the show are the newest additions to the Aquarium: Friday the Green Turtle, and Timor and Java the Grey Reef Sharks.
• There are currently 89 recognised species of whale, dolphin and porpoise
• The Blue Whale is the largest animal ever to have lived on earth; it is so large the biggest dinosaur would fit in its mouth!
• The biggest recorded Blue Whale was a female in the Antarctic Ocean, who measured a whopping 30.5 metres (as long as a Boeing 737 plane), with an estimated weight of 144 tonnes
• Adult Sperm Whales can stay underwater for almost two hours and dive to depths of 2,000 metres or more
• The Sperm Whale’s huge head houses the largest brain in the animal kingdom – up to 9kg
• The North Atlantic and North Pacific Right Whales are some of the most endangered in the world
• Beluga Whales are known as ‘canaries of the sea’ because they make chirping sounds like the yellow birds
• Sperm Whales are the loudest whales – they have been recorded making sounds at 230 decibels (Standing next to an aeroplane taking off is only 180!)
• Gray Whales travel over 10,000 miles every year between their winter calving locations in the warm waters of Mexico and their summer feeding grounds in the cold Arctic seas – over their lifetime (around 40 years) they’ll clock an impressive distance that is equivalent to going to the moon and back!