In addition to the hundreds of varieties of fish and sea life from all over the world, including stingrays, sharks, piranhas and sea scorpions, the aquarium's Shark Walk allows visitors to walk over a glass platform with sharks swimming just below their feet. Californian cownose rays, which swim in synchronised formations, are another notable feature, as is a tunnel constructed from a 25m-long whale skeleton, beneath which visitors can watch a tropical ocean of fish, coral and green turtles. The Rainforests of the World area, complete with exotic vegetation and a tropical waterfall, is home to a pair of six-foot dwarf crocodiles. A crustacean invasion is coming; the aquarium's, 'Claws' brings together species from the gigantic Japanese Spider crab (which can grow to 12 feet long) to the humble blue lobster (apparently they aren't pink until they are cooked). Guests can see the crabs from all angles in the new crawl-through tunnel and discover how these armored creatures’ function with a giant mechanical claw.
A charming recent addition to the aquarium is Sea Dragon Kingdom, a new collection of strange and colourful fish including Weedy Sea Dragons, Alligator pipefish and yellow seahorses. Little explorers can venture into the lost temple to catch glimpses of these mystical creatures. To draw the crowds in for half term and holidays in 2015, when the attraction stays open till 8pm, a new zone has been created, themed around the River Thames. It can be hard to spot any kind of wildlife (unless you're counting pigeons or the odd rat) along the murky waters of the real thing so this truncated version of The Thames Walk aims to provide a clear idea what lies beneath: copper-coloured Rudd, striped Perch and dorsal finned Grayling. Visitors can also brush up on the history of the river, get up-to-date information on pollution, enjoy interactive film projections and walk through a virtual reality imagining of the river’s future.