We learnt about living things and their habitats in preparation for this trip, focusing in particular on rainforests (the Sea Life centre features a 'Rainforest Adventure'). We looked at a PowerPoint presentation on Twinkl ('Rainforests as Habitats'), then googled some different rainforest animals on YouTube.
|We studied the layers of the rainforest using this printout from Twinkl|
The Sea Life centre in Brighton is the world's oldest operating aquarium. It was the idea of Eugenius Birch, the pier engineer and designer of Brighton's West Pier, and was first opened to the public in 1872. The main aquarium hall, with its vaulted ceilings, is listed as being of special architectural and historic interest. Nowadays, the ceilings are lit by a rainbow of multi-coloured lights.
There were so many tanks to see, all filled with a multitude of different fish and other sea creatures, that at first we just wandered round, enjoying the spectacle.
The bit Charlie was most looking forward to, though, was the Rainforest Adventure.
The first animal we met there was the Green Anaconda: the largest species of snake in the world. One of the staff members told us that it was nine feet long and had to be fed rats and mice. It lay perfectly still in the tank, only the tip of its snout protruding above the water. It was amazing to see how well camouflaged it was.
|The anaconda lying in wait for its next meal|
Whilst in the simulated rainforest, we also met Water Dragons, Poison Dart Frogs, Piranhas and a selection of rescued terrapins.
We then walked through a glass tunnel that led us underneath the ocean tank. We lingered here for some time, enjoying the sight of sea creatures swimming over and around us.
Before we left, we paid a visit to Charlie's favourite animal in the whole aquarium: an octopus. Charlie had read about the octopus on the aquarium website and been intrigued to discover that the octopus is said to be 'as smart as a dog' and that, because it has no skeleton, it can fit through a hole no bigger than a ten pence piece.
On our way home, we stopped off to get a takeaway. We all had the same idea: it had to be fish and chips.