Check Out The Cute New Arrival At Brighton Sea Life Centre

14 August 2015

baby undulate ray

If you're anywhere near Brighton you're totally going to want to check this out. There's a new arrival at Brighton Sea Life Centre, and it's a little ray of hope for one of Britain’s rarest sea creatures.

Undulate rays, once abundant in the English Channel, have become so scarce that commercial fishing of them was banned in 2009.

Three years ago the Sea Life Centres launched a breeding programme and the mother of this cute youngster, who was also born at Brighton, was its first recruit.

Moved to Weymouth, she was later paired up with a healthy male from Blackpool chosen with the help of a genetic mapping project carried out by the University of Manchester.

She has now produced around a dozen fertile eggs, even though - at just five years old - she is three years younger than the species is thought to mature in the wild.

Two of those eggs were sent back to the Sea Life Centre in Brighton, where staff discovered this bonny baby newly hatched in a behind-the-scenes nursery tank.

All together now: Aw!

A spokesperson for Brighton Sea Life Centre said:

“This little nipper is the first second-generation captive-born undulate baby for the breeding programme, and a significant success story. The project now involves around 90 adult undulate rays at aquariums across Europe. All are being micro-chipped and having their genes mapped so that unrelated pairs can be matched up to maximise the chances of healthy offspring.”

Right then, that's this weekend's family day out sorted!

Just don't forget to read our post on How To Survive A Family Day Trip before you go...

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