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Are you ready to be taken on a journey through one of the Earth’s oldest ecosystems? Some of the world’s rainforests have been around for millions of years, and you can experience it for yourself right here at Bristol Aquarium.

Our Edge of the Rainforest exhibit takes you through the mangrove swamps to show you some of the most exciting species, including deadly piranhas and archer fish – who have a fascinating way of catching their prey, which includes shooting water at them!

So, what is our Edge of the Rainforest exhibit all about, and what can you expect to see? Get ready to learn more about the world’s rich rainforests and the creatures that call them home…

Edge of the Rainforest’s atmosphere

Rainforests are incredibly diverse ecosystems, home to hundreds of species of animals, trees and plants. They get their name from having a high amount of rainfall, but don’t worry, you won’t get wet at our Edge of the Rainforest exhibit – we promise!

Most rainforests can be hot and humid thanks to the canopy created by the tall trees. However, you will also find some cooler rainforests across Northern Europe and the Pacific Northwest in the US.

We’ve recreated this feeling in our Edge of the Rainforest exhibit, with freshwater that ranges between 23-28 degrees with a tropical climate. Our large tropical display is teeming with colourful species, weaving in and out of our coral displays.

All about Edge of the Rainforest

Visiting our Edge of the Rainforest exhibit gives you the chance to discover a part of the world that many people dream of seeing. Many of the fish and amphibians we have here are native to South America, Southeast Asia and Mexico, and we’ve carefully curated our displays to take you through the mangrove forest and discover what lies within.

The rich biodiversity of a rainforest is so important to our planet, and at our exhibit you can learn a little more about that right here through our different species of marine life. 

What animals are at Edge of the Rainforest 

Here at the Edge of the Rainforest exhibit you’ll find a number of fascinating animals to learn about, including:

  • Piranhas – these misunderstood creatures are incredibly interesting, and perhaps not so deadly after all. While piranhas have a sharp bite and can shed and regrow their teeth, they are actually omnivores and will eat plants as well as animals – some are vegetarian! They also have a great way of communicating to each other through barking, to let others know when they are in a confrontation or to spread the word about a food source.
  • Archer fish ­– these unique fish catch their prey by shooting water to knock them into the water, and in some cases they can even leap out of the water to catch their dinner! They typically feast on insects, spiders and smaller fish, and are found around the mangroves of the Indo-Pacific area.
  • Blind cave fish – this Mexican species isn’t just blind from poor eyesight – it has no eyes at all! Blind cave fish also have no skin colouring and clear fins, and live in dark cave habitats with very little food or oxygen. Scientists have found that the fish is actually saving vital energy by not having eyes or needing to process vision!
  • Poison dart frog – considered one of the world’s most toxic species, the poison dart frogs come in a range of bright colours from yellows and orangs to reds and blues. Most are very small, feeding on small insects and catching them with their long, sticky tongues. The most poisonous in the family is the golden poison frog, thought to be able to kill 20,000 mice with the toxin in its skin!

Who is Edge of the Rainforest for

Our Edge of the Rainforest exhibit is the perfect place for everyone, young and old, to learn a new thing or two about marine life! Head over the wooden footbridge and look down upon our display and see which species you can spot. Don’t forget we’ve also got a great collection of amphibians – if you listen carefully, you’ll be able to hear them!

Adults and kids alike will love our Edge of the Rainforest exhibit, and will hopefully teach you something new about marine life. 


At Bristol Aquarium we have strived to ensure that all areas of our exhibits are accessible. With that in mind, Edge of the Rainforest is accessible and wheelchair friendly, but if you have any other questions, visit our Accessibility info page!

Current Water Temp

23 – 28 / 73 – 82

Water Type


Climate / Biome


In This Exhibit

15 Species

Where are we?

Central and South America | Asia

Favourites In This Exhibit

Get up close

Tropical Fish!

Meet hundreds of tropical fish species from clownfish and eels to puffer fish and sharks as they swim over your head!

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