Playing host to mysterious creatures of the deep, the Scottish Sea Life Sanctuary is a popular attraction in Oban, attracting people from all over with its stunning array of sea life.
Situated on the picturesque shores of Loch Creran, the centre boasts both an aquarium with a range of fish and sea creatures, as well as a busy rescue and rehabilitation facility for common and grey seal pups.
Now in its 31st year, the centre has just signed up to be part of the Oban Passport, a scheme organised by the Oban and Lorne Tourism Association to encourage more people to the pretty coastal town and enjoy its attractions.
THE OBAN PASSPORT:
At the launch of the tourism scheme, Gareth Hanniman showed off some of the centre’s inhabitants including the common spider crab, a creature which boasts long legs which are used to ward off predators.
He also brought along a common shore crab, often found in rock pools or running across sand on beaches, which many people will have come across in their time, as well as a range of starfish.
They included the common starfish, which is usually red or orange in colour. “The common starfish are easily recognisable by the five arms,” Gareth explained. “At the end of each one of these arms they have what we call a light receptor, so this is (used) instead of eyes and this allows them to tell when they’re in deep water and when they’re in shallow water, depending on how much light is being let through.”
Gareth also showed off other varieties of starfish including the purple sun star which has deep purple skin, and the common sun star starfish, a pretty multicoloured version.
Get lots of information on marine animals from the Oban Seal Sanctuary's website.