Octopus is crazy for Christmas crackers

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Blue Reef aquariums are making sure that their residents aren't left out of the Christmas cheer, by giving them crackers and turkey. Apparently the crackers – which presumably aren't filled with hats, poor jokes and plastic tat – are proving a big hit, especially with Tynemouth's Otto the octopus.

Blue Reef’s Anna Etchells said: "Otto has got a leg span of more than two metres and is covered with extremely strong suckers.

"He seems to have taken a particular shine to his cracker and it’s proving almost impossible to prise it away from him.

"Octopus are naturally curious creatures and are fascinated by new objects – the colour, shape and texture of the plastic cracker seem to be especially appealing to him," she added.

Not to be outdone, Blue Reef Aquarium at Bristol is giving its shoal of 30 piranhas a traditional Christmas dinner of turkey, without the extras.

Blue Reef curator Dan de Castro said: "When I used to work in Madrid we often fed our piranhas chicken so I thought that - with Christmas so close - it would be nice to give the fish something a little special with a festive flavour.

" won't be roasted and we're certainly not planning on including all the traditional Christmas trimmings, but it will definitely be a little treat for them and it will be interesting to see how popular it will be."

Meanwhile, the Blue Reef Aquarium at Hastings has been entertaining its fish with 'Scuba Santa' visits. The diving santa has proved very popular with Spot, the dog faced puffer fish.

Spot has become fascinated by the diving Santa's big white beard and bright red costume.
 
Blue Reef's Siobhan Gibbons said: "The diving Santa was really designed as an added attraction for our younger visitors, but Spot appears to think he has been brought in specifically for his benefit.”