There are different kinds of shark in many exhibits throughout the Aquarium—from the new Science of Sharks exhibit to the Northern Waters gallery to the Giant Ocean Tank to the shark and ray touch tank. While they may look different and live in different habitats, they all need to eat. Here’s a look at how we feed some of the sharks in our exhibits!

Sharks in the Science of Sharks Exhibit

There are 15 sharks in the warm-water adult tank in the new Science of Sharks exhibit. You’ll find coral catsharks, epaulette sharks, and Halmahera walking sharks. They normally rest amid the coral crevices or crawl along the replica reef on their flippers, but they sure get riled during feeding time! The easiest way to feed them is by accessing the front of the tank, which means we cannot do it while visitors are in the exhibit (you don’t want us blocking the view with a ladder, do you?!). But don’t worry! We recorded a bit of the action for you to watch.

Feeding Sharks in the Science of Sharks Exhibit

These sharks eat a variety of fish, including shrimp, herring, and silversides. After breakfast is cut up into bite-size pieces, senior aquarist Sarah Tempesta scrambles up the ladder to scatter morsels into the open spaces of the tank. You may have noticed some of the sharks are fed directly from a feeding stick. That’s because they might be a little shy or less aggressive than the others, and we want to make sure they get enough food.

Baby Sharks in Science of Sharks Exhibit

The domed tank in the new exhibit features baby coral catsharks and epaulette sharks. They are fed by Sarah from behind the scenes, which means that it can happen anytime during the day. Visitors love to watch the youngsters erupt from beneath the rock habitat in the exhibit and swirl around looking for a bite to eat!

aquarist feeding newborn sharks
Sarah sprinkles small bits of fish to the baby sharks.
baby shark feeding
The scene from behind the scenes above the baby shark tank during feeding time
girl watching baby sharks
Visitors love to watch the baby sharks during feeding time!

There’s more to the training of sharks, too! Learn more about how and why these intelligent sharks have been trained to target feed in our new Science of Sharks exhibit. Barbara gives a fascinating explanation of the process and lets us in on the fascinating behavior and characteristics of sharks. 

Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank

You’ll find epaulette sharks, coral catsharks, and zebra bullnose sharks in our popular touch tank. The sharks and rays are fed via the scatter method several times a day, since the rays like to graze throughout the day. It’s interesting to watch the animals’ energy level build as soon as they smell food in the water!

cownose ray
The cownose rays in the shark and ray touch tank like to graze all day.

This is hardly a comprehensive list of all the feeding methods for all the sharks at the Aquarium. There are cold-water sharks up in the Northern Waters gallery and in our Science of Sharks exhibit, plus baby sharks in our slant tank near the Edge of the Sea touch tank. Plan a visit to the New England Aquarium to see our new exhibit, but stay for the sharks in all corners of our building!