Article: Priscilla Seah, aquarist at S.E.A. Aquarium
Photos: Hian Hian and Boon Ping, curatorial team at S.E.A. Aquarium
These days, everywhere you go in Singapore, you’ll see numerous people walking around staring at their phones and frantically swiping the screen with their fingers. All thanks to the game Pokémon GO which took the world by storm. Since its release some two weeks ago, we have featured a post on the Pokémons you can catch at S.E.A. Aquarium. But do you know that many of these water type Pokémons are inspired by real life marine creatures?
Here are 8 real water-type Pokémons which can be found at our aquarium.
1. “Tentacruel” – Sea Jellies
We have not one but four types of “Tentacruels”! Our real life “Tentacruels” are the pulsating sea jellies: Japanese Sea Nettles, Malaysian Sea Nettles, White Spotted Sea Jellies and Moon Jellies.
2. “Squirtle” – Hawksbill Turtle
We also have our very own “Squirtle” over here in the Mangrove Habitat – the Hawksbill Turtle. This little guy is just a baby at 1 year old. These turtles reach adulthood at about 30 to 35 years old, and can live for more than 50 years! Hawksbill Turtles are Critically Endangered as many of them are hunted for their beautiful shells which are used for products such as spectacles.
3. “Staryu” – Sea Star
As you walk through the aquarium, you will be able to spot many “Staryus” and “Starmies” in their various habitats. Notable ones include: Red Knobbed Sea Star, Basket Star, Feather Star, Crown of Stars and the Pincushion Star. Read about these amazing sea stars here
4. “Krabby” – Japanese Spider Crab
Over at the cold water habitats, we have several monster sized “Krabbies” – the Japanese Spider Crabs! They live in special habitats filled with cold water of about 10 degrees Celsius. They have the longest leg span of any arthropod, which gives them a spider-like appearance. Although they look fierce, they are very gentle in nature. The heavy armour of the Japanese spider crabs protect them from their natural predators, which are large octopuses.
5. “Horsea” – Seahorses
At S.E.A. Aquarium, we also have our very own “Horsea”, namely the Estuary Seahorse and the Narrow-bellied Seahorse. These seahorses can be spotted hanging on to a branch with their long tails. In seahorses, it is the male seahorse that broods the eggs and young in a pouch on its belly before releasing them at birth. With seahorse populations in the wild facing many threats such as habitat destruction, collection for medicinal use and trade, our success in breeding these seahorses within the aquarium will, in the long run, help to improve the techniques used in seahorse farming.
6. “Seadra” – Seadragons
“Seadra”, which is the evolved version of “Horsea”, can also be found in our aquarium – our resident Seadragons!
In fact, we have two species – the Weedy Seadragon, and the Leafy Seadragon! Seadragons are relatives of seahorses, and can only be found in the waters of Australia. Being slow moving creatures, they heavily rely on their camouflage to protect them from predation, and as such have elaborate leaf-like appendages that mimic seagrass and seaweed in their natural habitat.
7. “Shellder” – Fluted Giant Clam
If you look hard enough, you will also be able to find the “Shellder” equivalent in our aquarium. It is the Fluted Giant Clam that can be found in one of the Focus Globes, with their other friends, the Banggai Cardinalfish. These bottom dwellers can be found in the Indo-Pacific region. They get their colour from the zooxanthellae (single celled dinoflagellate algae) that live on their mantle tissues.
8. “Omanyte” – Chambered Nautilus
The last real water type Pokémon on our list is the Omanyte equivalent – the Chambered Nautilus. Nautilus are known as living fossils as they have survived for millions of years and remained relatively unchanged . They can have up to 90 tentacles, and move using jet propulsion!
Pop by the SEA Aquarium to catch ‘em all today! If you’re an avid Pokémon trainer, be sure to read this to find out which Pokémons frequent our aquarium.