From seahorses to clownfish, staff at Bristol Aquarium are paying tribute to some of the aquatic world’s best dads on Sunday, June 16th.
Special daily talks and tours throughout the weekend will draw attention to some of the aquarium’s hardest-working piscine papas.
And, to celebrate Father’s Day itself, the aquarium will be treating dads like kids again by only charging them a child’s admission (when accompanied by at least one other full-paying child*).
Bristol Aquarium’s David Waines said: “We always celebrate Mother’s Day so – as a father of two – I thought it was only fair that fishy fathers should also get some recognition.
“In fact in some cases it’s the males that actually do most of the hard work when it comes to looking after the babies.”
Clownfish lay their eggs among the tentacles of stinging anemones for protection. The attentive males carefully fan the eggs using their fins and will often manoeuvre the anemone’s tentacles to provide a protective canopy above the developing fish.
In fact they are so protective that they have even been known to attack divers who venture too close to their young!
It’s the same story with would-be dads among the sea-going corkwing wrasse family who also do all the nest-building in readiness for the big day.
Rare baby tropical Banggai cardinalfish are also looked after by their fathers who keep their offspring safe by holding them inside their mouths until they are big enough to look after themselves.
However the fishy world’s most famous fathers are undoubtedly members of the seahorse and closely related pipefish families.
They are virtually unique in the animal kingdom in that it is the male rather than the female which carries the babies and gives birth to them via a special brood pouch on their stomach.
The fathers develop a special lining in the pouch which gives the growing babies oxygen and food while they develop.
Pregnant males eventually ‘give birth’ to the tiny replicas of the adults after about 2-6 months, depending on the species. Some species can give birth to up to 1,500 babies at any one time!
Issued on behalf of Bristol Aquarium. For more information please contact Tina Patel on 0117 929 8929