SEA LIFE Centre
Lifting the lid on the mysteries of the underwater world, Chessington’s SEA LIFE centre is a truly breath taking experience for all deep sea explorers!
SEA LIFE is packed full of fun exhibitions, including interactive rock pools, daily talks and feeding sessions as well as a breathtaking walkthrough ocean tunnel and Azteca - where you will discover a lost undersea empire featuring Rays and Parrot Fish.
In this area of our zoo you will find the following…
Rays are distinctive from other sea dwelling creatures due to their flat bodies and long thin tails. Most rays live on the sea floor and survive by taking water in through small openings on the top of their heads, known as spiracles, and passing it out through their gills. They survive on small clams, snails and fish. At Chessington we have Spotted Rays, Thornback Rays, Undulate Rays and Painted Rays.
FUN FACT: Ancient Greek dentists used the venom from a stingray’s spine as an anesthetic.
Jellyfish are one of the oldest species found on the planet. They come in a variety of shapes, colours and sizes – ranging from 3mm to 3metres in diameter. Jellyfish have long tentacles that are covered in stinging cells which can cause a very painful sting. They do not have a brain, heart or any bones.
FUN FACT: Jellyfish need to be kept in round tanks otherwise they get stuck in the corners! They are very poor swimmers and usually simply drift in the water.
There are over 2,000 species of starfish across the worlds’ oceans. Their underside is covered in hundreds of small tube-like feet which allow them to move about. These tubes also help the starfish to eat by opening shells so the starfish can eat the clams and scallops inside.
FUN FACT: Whilst most starfish have five arms, some have many more. The Sun Starfish can have up to 40 arms! Starfish also have the ability to grow new arms if they lose one.
Lionfish are native to warm waters in the Indian and Pacific oceans. These fish may look pretty with their unusual red and white stripes, but they are not friendly at all! Lionfish are venomous with their needle-like spikes, or fins, packed full of deadly venom, protecting them from predators in the water.
FUN FACT: Lionfish will often spread their spikes and trap small fish there so that they can swallow them more easily.
Puffer fish have a big head and big eyes with a rather small body, which actually makes them quite poor swimmers. Puffer fish are famous for their ability to inflate to almost double their size. They quickly take in huge amounts of water which makes them look bigger and scarier to nearby predators. Puffer fish are also extremely venomous. There is enough toxin in one Puffer fish to kill 30 humans!
FUN FACT: Puffer fish are said to have friendly personalities and good memories. Some even say they learn to recognise their keepers.
There are over 30 species of seahorses around the world, found mainly in sheltered, shallow waters. Seahorses are distinctive from other fish for a number of reasons. They do not have scales, more like a thin skin, they swim upright unlike most fish who swim horizontally, and their eyes can move independently, like a chameleon.
FUN FACT: Male seahorses give birth to their young. The female deposits her eggs into the male’s front pouch and then 2 - 4 weeks later the male gives birth to up to 200 babies!
Most people recognize clownfish for their distinctive orange coloured scales and three white stripes along their body. However, Clownfish can also be yellow, red or even black. They live in small groups in sea anemones. Clownfish are in fact one of the only fish that can remain unharmed by swimming through these poisonous plants.
FUN FACT: Clownfish are all born male, but can change to female at a later stage in their lives.
SEA LIFE Shop
Once you have explored Chessington’s amazing SEA LIFE centre be sure to visit the SEA LIFE shop for some more underwater fun. Water toys, fact-filled books, pirate props and mermaid gifts are just some of the souvenirs guaranteed to make a splash!
Here are the latest reviews for SEA LIFE Centre.
I come to Chessington quite often. The SEA LIFE centre amazes me and my mum, we love it. We watched most of the shows as we stayed at the resort for 2 nights and 3 days.
Cheyenne, 23 September 2012
Fishy Business ;)
Having visited Chessington on a yearly basis, I think the Sea Life Centre is the best part! Tanks are clean and easy to see the wildlife in them. Although my son got rather too carried away with the Octopus and banged his head on the 3D dome! Sea creatures look healthy and happy (although I'm no zoologist!) Myself and my children all still gasp as we walk through the transparent dome with sharks swimming overhead! Staff are knowledgable and a hands-on session to touch was great. TIP 1: Make sure you get inside the centre about 15mins before to avoid missing any talks. TIP 2: Check what day the sea creatures are being fed (as there are no hands-on sessions that day). TIP 3: Make sure your camera has flash turned off and get ready for an amazing experience-it's a wonderful 'plaice'
Mummy Angela, 23 August 2012
I loved the Sealife Centre. The Octopus was HUGE. I'm usually scared of sharks but when i walked through the tunnel it got rid of my phobia. SO COOL!!!!
frances age 7, 1 January 2012
As a family we take our time to choose a family holiday and decided to stay at Chessington World of Adventures for two days. No queue’s, walked straight in. My 3 and 5 year old children really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere walking around in wonder. This is truly the best we have seen, highly recommend “SEA LIFE” at CWOA to any family thinking about a short break. BRILLIANT. We are looking forward to our next visit.
Steve Allen, 26 August 2011
We love to visit sea life at CWOA. It's top quality, laid out extremely well and as all the park, the staff are amazing and helpful! Well worth a visit and we always drop in even on the hottest of days! Nice to see the sharks are back.
Toby & Zack, 25 June 2011