Five Common Questions About Sharks at the Aquarium
Friday, July 16, 2021
Shark Week 2021 is almost wrapping up here at the Aquarium. Visit our social media or Youtube channels for other special content about sharks!
It has been a while since we could welcome guests to special presentations at the shark habitat, so we wanted to answer some of the most common questions we get asked.
What kinds of sharks are at the Aquarium?
In our large 300,000 gallon habitat with a 40-foot tunnel, you can see Nurse sharks, Grey reef sharks, Black-tip reef sharks, Sandbar sharks, and the most elusive, Wobbegong shark. Other smaller sharks can be found around the aquarium, like the Epaulette sharks in the stingray touch pool, or the Horn and Swell sharks in the small kelp forest.
Why don’t the sharks eat the other fish?
Sharks in the wild have to exert significant effort and energy to find and catch their prey, sometimes going several days between meals. Here at the Aquarium, under human care, our sharks are well fed, and fed often.
How do you feed the sharks?
Watch this behind-the-scenes video or look for it on our social media channels to see how our sharks are trained to get their food by approaching a target. Sharks are intelligent creatures, and have demonstrated their capacity to learn by going to specific targets and locations for food.
Do sharks need to swim all the time?
Some sharks swim almost constantly, but many species of sharks can be seen motionless while resting, sleeping, or hiding in crevices of rocks or on the sandy sea floor. You can often see our Nurse sharks, for example, relaxing on the top of the tunnel, or by the front window. In order to keep water flow through their gills, these kinds of sharks have special muscles at the gill slits to pump water through.
Is it safe to dive in the habitat?
Yes. Our keepers and divers enter the shark habitat regularly to clean, feed animals, and maintain the habitat. The sharks at the Aquarium are accustomed to the presence of divers. Sharks are not overly aggressive as portrayed in media. They are curious and clever creatures who will typically avoid confrontation with anything as big or bigger than themselves.
Shark Week at the Aquarium is presented by: