Aquaria and Terraria

Tropical biotopes and their faunal residents’ adaptation

Exhibition

Die buntschillernden Diskusfische gehören zur familie der Buntbarsche und kommen im Amazonas-Gebiet vor.

A visit to the aquarium is always worth it. Here, not only aquarists and terrarium owners can find interesting fish, reptile, and amphibian species. Anyone that is delighted by the different colors and shapes of the underwater world should not miss the aquarium on their tour of the museum.

The polka-dot stingray (Potamotrygon leopoldi) originates from South America, more precisely from the Amazon River region. Unlike the more commonly known stingray species (e.g. the manta ray), this stingray exclusively lives in fresh water.

Among the Yemen chameleons only the males have the impressive helmet. They are also much larger in size. Significant for all chameleons is their long rapidly extrudable tongue, which they use to catch their prey.

Two other residents of the aquarium are our dwarf Surinam toads (pipa parva) from South America and the twig catfish (Farlowella acus). With their flattened bodies, these aquatic toads look just like stones, this serves as a great disguise. Patient observers will find another master of disguise in that same aquarium: the twig catfish. This catfish species imitates a branch resting at the bottom of the riverbed.

Biotope Coral Reef

Our two sea water aquariums are especially enticing. They convey a realistic impression of the coral reef as a diverse biotope. Most reef fish are strikingly colorful and vary a lot in shape and size. Their colors are quite useful for intraspecific identification and signaling territorial boundaries.

Contrary to what one might believe these flashy markings can also serve as an excellent disguise. The striking colors and markings of the corals, combined with the movement of the water, breaking the sunlight, make the fish almost indistinguishable from the reef surrounding them.

Many invertebrates of the coral reef resemble bizarrely shaped flowers. Most spend their whole life staying at the same spot of the reef, sitting there either as an individual or in a colony. Some build chalk shells for retreat; others use small clefts and cavities as a lair.