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Issue:- Sunday, 31 January 2016

Headlines and reports on this page = 2 news items.    Page - 4.

Tentacular Spectacular! Houdini of the seas to land in Manchester

SEALIFE Manchester's newest resident, Hank, is different to most as there's not a fin in sight. Instead he has 3 hearts, blue blood, 8 arms and is 1 of the marine world's most intelligent creatures; a Giant Pacific Octopus.

Hank is the starring member of the brand new Octopus Hideout exhibit that will be opening at the family favourite attraction in time for February half term and will give visitors a unique opportunity to come face to sucker with a collection of super brainy, multi legged creatures, including the Giant Pacific Octopus and his cuttlefish cousins.

Providing a real insight into the lives and intelligence of these quirky creatures, Octopus Hideout takes visitors on a journey into the deep, where they can marvel at the fascinating antics of these incredible cephalopods and try to spot the octopuses as they disguise themselves in their new home, fitting into spaces that didn't seem possible!

Among the new residents, pride of place will be given to perhaps the brainiest of them all; Hank. One of the biggest octopus species in the world, the Giant Pacific Octopus can weigh up to 50 kg and can grow to a huge 5 m in length! In addition to its jaw dropping size, these invertebrates are unbelievably smart; solving mazes and opening jars, disguising themselves along the way by matching their skin to the colour, pattern and texture of the environment surrounding them. They can even grow spikes in a fraction of a second!  James Thomas, General Manager at SEA LIFE Manchester commented:- "Hank received a warm welcome from all the team here at SEA LIFE Manchester and already he has taken quite a liking to Dan, our Curator here at the attraction! We're sure he's going to be a firm favourite with visitors."

Alongside Hank, Octopus Hideout will house the jet propelled, gas fuelled prehistoric nautilus; a primitive octopus in a spiral shell that uses its own bodily gases to propel itself around! Visitors will also not want to miss the cuttlefish, a captivating type of mollusc which can change colour to give itself the perfect camouflage against any background or the teeny tiny Atlantic Long Arm Octopus, a small sea creature with arms longer than its 90 millimetre body!  With specially designed tanks, brightly coloured and reminiscent of the psychedelic 60's, visitors will be able to test their own wits with challenging puzzles and interactive features, illustrating the unique talents of the octopus family.   James added:- "We continually strive to offer something new and exciting for our visitors to enjoy and Octopus Hideout really is one of the best feature exhibitions we've ever had. It gives people the opportunity to see these fascinating creatures up close too. We want to help educate and inform our guests about the challenges these creatures face in the wild whilst getting to see some of their incredible skills as they thrive in their carefully created environment. We can't wait to see the reaction from visitors when the octopuses use their master skills of disguise and escape to fit through holes as small as a ten pence piece!"

The Manchester based attraction is home to hundreds of creatures including a shiver of different shark species such as Black Tip Reef Sharks, family favourite Ernie, a Giant Green Sea Turtle and an incredible bay of rays, which is home to beautiful Blue Spotted Stingrays.

For further information or to pre-book tickets online. Reduced prices are available for tickets booked in advance.

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