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Last night aquarists at the SEA LIFE London Aquarium kick started the week-long task of performing health checks on all of the weird and wonderful creatures in their care.
Starting with weighing each of the ten-strong colony of Gentoo penguins as they gain weight to prepare for their annual moult, the team have a big task ahead of them. They’ll check the teeth and measure the length of each of their 50 sharks, weigh in the 15 brightly coloured poison dart frogs and log the size of their three month old baby hermit crabs.
Jamie Oliver, deputy curator at the attraction, commented: “We’re constantly monitoring the health of all of our animals, but the penguin’s annual moult weigh-in seemed a good time to update the health logs of all of our creatures at the same time. In recent months we’ve had new additions like the baby hermit crabs and some tiny seahorses, so it’ll be a great opportunity to monitor their progress. It’s a big job, but the dedicated aquarists know their allocated animals very well and can spot changes in their growth and development very quickly."
It’s not just the larger animals that need checking, the aquarists examine everything from children’s favorites the clown fish to the tiniest fish in the attraction, the tetra fish - even all eight square metres of colourful coral will get the once over. Armed with clipboards, calipers and weighing scales, the aquarists will have monitored a total of 6,000 creatures buy the end of the health check, which they expect to take around a week.