New herd of Spiny seahorses are stars of Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre

Spiny seahorse and baby, Sea Life Great Yarmouth

Spiny seahorse and baby, Sea Life Great Yarmouth - Credit: Sea Life Great Yarmouth

It may be more usual to see donkeys on the beach at the height of the season, but a new herd of stunning Spiny Seahorses have gone on display at Great Yarmouth Sea Life Centre in time for the summer holidays.

In varying shades of striking yellows and greens, Spiny seahorses hail from cooler waters in the Eastern Atlantic ocean and can grow up 12cms in length. Although poor swimmers, the mythical looking creatures are able to hold on to grasses and weeds using their strong tails while sucking up prey through their powerful snouts.

The seahorses are integral to the centre's conservation efforts – Sea Life animal care teams hope after seeing the fantastical beasts first hand the public will be inspired to learn how they can personally help seahorse species around the globe.

Darren Gook, senior aquarist, said: 'It's no exaggeration to say our new Spiny Seahorses are absolutely breath taking – they look as if they belong in a Harry Potter-style fantasy story book.

'We really hope by seeing these incredible creatures first hand, visitors will be inspired to protect them. Seahorses are continually at risk of being over-fished for use in the alternative medicine trade and the souvenir trade, where dead seahorses are often dried and encased in resin for sale as knick-knacks like key-rings and magnets. We'd really like to encourage the public not to buy things like that while on holiday, to help protect these stunning creatures.'

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The seahorses have been housed in the centre's newly built Under the Ray-dar area, which also features a giant yellow submarine set in a sea of rays, which children can crawl inside to get closer to the rays than ever before.

Those wanting to book tickets or find out more can visit or call 01493 330631.

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