Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium presents its new attractions for 2009: a new Black Box with amazing fish and a fascinating conference series to reveal the secrets of the extraordinary underwater creatures housed in the aquarium
Gardaland Sea Life Press Release:
Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium, the marvellous aquarium that was opened last June, has several outstanding innovations in store for the new season.
This fantastic structure has already welcomed a large number of new residents thanks to the reproduction of various species it houses, including seahorses. Even the interactive rock pools, which give adults and children alike a unique opportunity to touch – yes, actually touch – the most exotic species, have welcomed some new arrivals. In addition to the brightly coloured cleaner shrimps and the marvellous starfish, the rock pools at Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium contain king crabs and Atlantic hermit crabs as well as fascinating creatures such as… sea apples, which, although similar in shape to the fruit from which they take their name, are actually proper sea creatures in every respect. These curious organisms feed on whatever they find in the water and carry the food to their mouth very slowly… just like a child relishing his favourite food with great satisfaction!
The greatest innovation, however, is the installation of a Black Box, which for the entire year will house some “tenants” who are genuinely “out of the ordinary”. Before the Easter weekend, this area, which is intended expressly for temporary exhibitions, will see the installation of an exhibition that brings together creatures blessed with exceptional characteristics, truly special animals that will no doubt act like magnets on the attention of visitors to the Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium.
Those who are most fortunate will see up close the cloud of ink that the giant octopus uses to confuse its enemies as it beats a retreat and will be able to admire the incredible transparency of the glass knife fish, whose spine and beating heart are both visible. And what more can be said about the mind-boggling coconut crab that with its claws can lift objects weighing almost 30kg? No less worthy of note will be the gaily coloured parrot fish, which has a beak similar to that of the bird from which it takes its name and which it uses to rasp off coral polyps. Its truly distinguishing characteristic, however, is its ability to construct a mucus bubble to prevent itself being smelt out by predators while it sleeps.
It is not likely that the mantis shrimp will miss this opportunity to get itself talked about. This creature assumes the posture of a praying mantis to hit its adversaries at a speed of 23 metres per second… much faster than any boxer or martial arts champion could manage!
Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium is definitely the place for spotting some heavenly creatures… And for those who would like to learn more about some of the most enchanting sea creatures, Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium has organised a new conference series entitled “Outlandish lives, habits and customs of the inhabitants of the sea”.
The topics of the eight meetings will range from the surprising life of the seahorse, to the mysterious habits of sharks, and from the capacity for camouflage of many creatures to a revelation of the secrets of all those beasts which inspired ancient myths and legends.
The initiative is the result of a desire to promote awareness about sea creatures and make Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium not simply a place to visit “passively”, but more importantly to turn it into an opportunity to learn by having fun. The aquarium’s experts are ready and willing to answer any questions and to satisfy any strange curiosities expressed by those taking part. Meetings are held at Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium every Tuesday from 17 February until 7 April between 2pm and 3pm.
The conference programme is as follows:
- 17 February – Octopuses, jellyfish and corals; two creatures in one or in two!
- 24 February – Starfish, urchins and sea cucumbers: many shapes and colours, only one family.
- 3 March – Which is more dangerous - man or beast? Shark facts and fictions.
- 10 March – One in a thousand makes it: the extraordinary life of the seahorse.
- 17 March – The tricks of the trade: the art of camouflage.
- 24 March – Mythological beasts and real creatures.
- 31 March – Sea mammals – an amazing tale of adaptation.
- 7 April – Life in the abysses and the cold seas: ability to adapt to extreme conditions.
The cost of participating in the conference and visiting the aquarium is 8.50 Euro. Attendees must register for the meetings and this must be done by the Friday prior to the visit by ringing 045 6449777. For further information visit the website www.sealifeeurope.com
Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium has a very strong didactic vocation and in fact its mission has been defined as “edutainment”, in other words educational entertainment. Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium is not just a simple aquarium, but rather a succession of mysterious and fascinating worlds. Visitors have the impression they are boarding a vessel and, room after room, can discover a series of fabulous underwater scenarios. 5000 creatures belonging to 100 different species are exhibited: from seahorses to starfish, from jellyfish to mysterious sharks.
Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium also supports a large number of initiatives in the field of research, protection and preservation of the environment through the environmental programme S.O.S. (Save our Seas). Having established itself as the organiser of a series of high-profile petitions, S.O.S. now intends to call for legislative interventions in favour of various species, including sea turtles, sharks, whales and dolphins. The huge importance of protecting our seas is also reiterated in the S.O.S. Room, the final room on the Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium trail, which will contain illustrations of initiatives to raise awareness among adults and children about issues linked to the conservation of the environment, species in danger of extinction and the possibility of reducing the impact of human activity on the whole environment.
To coincide with the BIT trade fair, Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium is taking the magic of the underwater world to the show by installing a marvellous aquarium on the Gardaland stand. The aquarium will contain splendid fish such as the yellow tail damsel fish, the single-stripe clown fish, the archer fish and the chocolate chip sea star. Nor will there be a shortage of bubble anemones, yellow and blue surgeonfish or delightful cleaner shrimps, all swimming in a perfectly reproduced underwater environment.
Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium, situated just 200 metres from Gardaland, is open from Monday to Friday from 10am to 4pm, on Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 6pm. Admission costs 15.00 Euro per adults, 9.50 for children under 10, free for children less than 1 metre tall. Joint tickets are available to both Gardaland and Gardaland SEA LIFE Aquarium.
How to get here
By car: Peschiera del Garda or Sommacampagna exit (A4 motorway) or Affi exit (A22 motorway); By train: Peschiera del Garda railway station .
The Sea Life brand is part of the British group MERLIN ENTERTAINMENTS is the leading group in the location based, family entertainment sector, which has seen the most successful and dynamic growth of any company in the sector over the last five years. The world’s second largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin has 57 attractions and 6 hotels in 12 countries and across 3 continents. The company aims to deliver memorable and rewarding experiences to its 32.4 million visitors worldwide, through its iconic global and local brands, and the commitment and passion of its managers and 13,500 employees. Merlin Entertainments operates the following attractions: SEA LIFE, Madame Tussauds, LEGOLAND, The London Eye, Dungeons, Gardaland, LEGOLAND Discovery Centres, The London Aquarium, Alton Towers Resort, Warwick Castle, THORPE PARK, Chessington World of Adventures & Zoo, Heide Park, Underwater Adventures and Earth Explorer.