New stars deliver sucker bunch

A Giant Pacific octopus is the star of a 'gripping' new attraction at the Sea Life Centre, as they open the new 'Octopus's Garden' display tanks. Picture by Andrew Higgins 120634d 08/02/12
A Giant Pacific octopus is the star of a 'gripping' new attraction at the Sea Life Centre, as they open the new 'Octopus's Garden' display tanks. Picture by Andrew Higgins 120634d 08/02/12
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THEY’RE wily, clever, playful, come in all shapes and sizes – and are grabbing the attention at the Sea Life Centre.

THEY’RE wily, clever, playful, come in all shapes and sizes – and are grabbing the attention at the Sea Life Centre.

Lyndsey Crawford, displays co-ordinator at the Sea Life Centre, in the new attraction at the Sea Life Centre, the 'Octopus's Garden' display tanks. Picture by Andrew Higgins 120634g 08/02/12

Lyndsey Crawford, displays co-ordinator at the Sea Life Centre, in the new attraction at the Sea Life Centre, the 'Octopus's Garden' display tanks. Picture by Andrew Higgins 120634g 08/02/12

The North Bay attraction has welcomed different types of octopus – ranging from the giant Pacific to its small chameleon-like cuttlefish cousins.

In between is the ancient ammonite-like nautilus, mud octopus and the common octopus.

“They’ve really got the wow factor,” said displays curator Lyndsey Crawford. They have the intelligence of a guide dog are also high maintenance.

Staff have to set aside an hour for each of them to play.

The ancient Nautilus, and early form of octopus, is part of the new attraction at the Sea Life Centre, as they open the new 'Octopus's Garden' display tanks. Picture by Andrew Higgins 120634e 08/02/12

The ancient Nautilus, and early form of octopus, is part of the new attraction at the Sea Life Centre, as they open the new 'Octopus's Garden' display tanks. Picture by Andrew Higgins 120634e 08/02/12

“They like Lego and Mr Potato Head. We hide their food in the toys so they have to work to get at it.

“They’re like children – they need to be constantly entertained,” said Lyndsey. Octopus will also escape if they can.

“They are the Houdini of the animal kingdom,” said Lyndsey. “They can squeeze through gaps a fraction of their size.”

The giant Pacific is called Lizzie and the common octopus answers to Phil – in honour of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee this year. The mud octopus is the first bred in captivity at the centre.

A Giant Pacific octopus is the star of a 'gripping' new attraction at the Sea Life Centre, as they open the new 'Octopus's Garden' display tanks. Picture by Andrew Higgins 120634c 08/02/12

A Giant Pacific octopus is the star of a 'gripping' new attraction at the Sea Life Centre, as they open the new 'Octopus's Garden' display tanks. Picture by Andrew Higgins 120634c 08/02/12

The £200,000 Octopus Garden is the latest edition to the Sea Life Centre which is already home to penguins, otters, jelly fish and sea horses.

The display tanks are situated in an eerie under-water garden setting, with colours and weird shapes reminiscent of the psychedelic 60s.

Next year a new feature will be added – with the octopus relocated.

“It may be Claws, but we have not decided yet,” said Lyndsey.

A Giant Pacific octopus is the star of a 'gripping' new attraction at the Sea Life Centre, as they open the new 'Octopus's Garden' display tanks. Picture by Andrew Higgins 120634a 08/02/12

A Giant Pacific octopus is the star of a 'gripping' new attraction at the Sea Life Centre, as they open the new 'Octopus's Garden' display tanks. Picture by Andrew Higgins 120634a 08/02/12

Don’t miss our annual Sea Life Centre pass offer. The token-collect cut-price entry deal starts in the Scarborough Evening News on Monday February 20. Copies of the newspaper sell-out fast as the offer is always popular. So, make sure of your copy and subscribe.

The ancient Nautilus, and early form of octopus, is part of the new attraction at the Sea Life Centre, as they open the new 'Octopus's Garden' display tanks. Picture by Andrew Higgins 120634f 08/02/12

The ancient Nautilus, and early form of octopus, is part of the new attraction at the Sea Life Centre, as they open the new 'Octopus's Garden' display tanks. Picture by Andrew Higgins 120634f 08/02/12