As the summer starts to draw to a close, it’s time to for parents, students…
After a long 15 months, we are finally able to re-open our Tropical House as Government restrictions lift from 19th July.
So, we thought we would give you a heads up as to what weird and wonderful species our Tropical House is home to, and who you need to look out for on your next visit.
- Hoffmann’s sloth
Of course, without a doubt one of the most popular animals at our zoo is our pair of two-toed Hoffmann’s sloths, Roxy and Hadar. You can spot these pair up in the top flight of the Tropical House amongst the trees, however they will most likely be taking a snooze as sloths can spend up to 20 hours a day sleeping!
These pair are fairly easy to tell apart as Roxy has very pale sand coloured hair, whereas Hadar has dark brown hair and a paler face.
Fun fact: their slow movement is an adaptation for surviving on their low-energy diet of leaves.
- Poison dart frogs
Although poison dart frogs are coloured with some of the most brilliant and beautiful colours on Earth, including yellow, gold, black, blue, green or red, they are actually one of the most toxic animals on Earth too (as their name may give away). However, frogs which are kept in captivity and isolated from insects in their native habitat never develop the poison.
At Newquay Zoo we have blue, yellow and black poison dart frogs, which can be found in the central tank on the bottom floor of the Tropical House. On your next visit, see how many you can spot.
Fun fact: the golden poison dart frog has enough poison to kill 10 grown men.
- Curly haired tarantula
Originally found in Costa Rica or Nicaragua, these tarantulas have a fairly docile nature which make them a very popular species in the pet trade. They are mainly terrestrial tarantulas, which means that they live on the ground, however they have been known to burrow too. To catch their prey they use their venomous fangs, which both paralyses the unfortunate prey and begins the digestion, enabling the tarantula to suck up all of the proteins and fats, leaving just a small ball of undigested body parts behind.
Our Chilean rose tarantula can be found on the bottom floor of our Tropical House, although you may need to look a little harder for this one as they are a nocturnal species.
Fun fact: These spiders can throw irritating hairs from their body in defence
- Panther chameleon
It is a common misconception that chameleons of any kind can change colour to match their environment. Instead, their colour varies dependent on location, and the colour patterns of these chameleons are commonly referred to as ‘locales’, which are named after the geographical location in which they can be found. Males are generally more vibrantly coloured than females who remain tan and brown with hints of pink, peach or bright orange.
Our panther chameleon can be found inside the main entrance to the Tropical House.
Fun fact: they have 360 degree vision which enables them to fully scan their environment for food or an escape route from their predators.
- Electric blue day gecko
These beautiful little geckos are extremely rare and are classified as a Critically Endangered species according to the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. This is sadly due to increased demand from the pet trade and habitat loss. As you can tell they get their name from their striking turquoise blue bodies, however it is just the males who obtain this colouration. Females tend to be a greenish-brown colour.
We have 5 electric blue day geckos at Newquay Zoo, with 3 breeding pairs as we hope for breeding success in the future to contribute towards the captive population of this species.
Fun fact: they are also known as turquoise dwarf geckos as they are only around 6-10cm long.
Of course there are plenty more creatures for you to spot in our Tropical House. We look forward to re-opening this exhibit to everyone from Monday 19th July.