Spring has Sprung – SEA LIFE Manchester Welcomes a Little Giant to its Centre
Spring has arrived, the season known for frolicking lambs and newly hatched ducklings also welcomes the birth of a Giant African Land Snail to SEA LIFE Manchester.
Giant African land snails are, as the name implies, much larger than the UK native snails that you will find in your back garden. Prized for the markings and patterns on their shells, these fascinating creatures can grow to be up-to 20 centimetres in length as they reach maturity; living up to ten years old and can weigh more than half a kilogram!
The baby snail is not so ‘giant’ at birth, and is no bigger than a garden pea! So, is it a bouncing baby boy or a gorgeous girl? Well neither, as the species is a hermaphrodite, meaning that one snail is both male and female.
The newborn, yet to be named, is the newest addition to SEA LIFE Manchester’s exclusive Jurassic Ranger exhibit. A UK first, the interactive experience gives visitors the chance to come face-to-face with a variety of creatures that have evolved from some of the most powerful predators that once roamed our seas.
Jurassic Ranger includes Nautilus, Axolotl, Lungfish, Mountain Horned Dragon Lizards, plus Corn Snakes and Royal Pythons – which visitors will be able to touch during ranger experience sessions! Guests will also have the opportunity to hold a fully-grown Giant African Land Snail and see first-hand the remarkable size difference to its newborn offspring.
Jenn McDonough, General Manager of SEA LIFE Manchester says: “Everyone at SEA LIFE Manchester has been really excited to watch the snail egg hatch. We’re delighted to welcome another fascinating creature to the centre, just in time for the Easter break.
“The baby snail is currently in its own incubation tank, ensuring that it has the best start in life. The snail has yet to be named, and we will be welcoming suggestions from our visitors and fans on social media.”
The birth comes as SEA LIFE Manchester teams up with Macmillan Children’s Books to bring Julia Donaldson & Axel Scheffler’s The Snail and the Whale to its centre – throughout the Easter holidays, right up-to Monday 17th April.
Visitors can experience this beloved children’s book, written by former Children’s Laureate Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler, like never before as they follow the story around the centre through an amazing underwater world.
Special The Snail and the Whale events, at SEA LIFE Manchester, will include a The Snail and the Whale trail map, which will lead visitors around the centre to discover interactive ‘Snail Stops.’ Follow the trail to hear different parts of the story at each stop, and an interesting SEA LIFE wow fact! The trail maps also feature fun activities on the back too.
What’s more, little ones will be given a snail hat to wear on their storybook experience around the centre. And, at the end of their journey, children can create their own save the whale poster, which will be used to create a giant collage in the centre, before being sent on to the SEA LIFE Trust to be used as part of its whip out whaling campaign
Families planning to visit should go to the website to book tickets to avoid disappointment, www.visitsealife.com/manchester.
Reduced prices are available online, with prices starting from just £10.95 when purchased in advance online.
For regular news, updates and competitions, SEA LIFE Manchester is also on Facebook/SEALIFEManchester and Twitter @sealifemanc.
To suggest a name for the baby Giant African Land Snail, head to social media and comment using the hashtag #SEALIFEMcrBabySnail. The winning name will selected by SEA LIFE Manchester, and the winning family will receive free passes to visit.