Science of Sharks
On April 14, the New England Aquarium celebrates the opening of Science of Sharks, a new exhibit that immerses visitors into the science and wonder of small but mighty sharks through captivating videos and photos of underwater research by Aquarium scientists and by getting up close to some unusual shark species.
Large wrap-around video screens let visitors submerge with Aquarium Explorer-in-Residence and National Geographic underwater photographer Brian Skerry as he scuba dives and photographs majestic sharks in their stunning wild habitats.
And, new tanks allow people to get right up beside sharks such as marbled coral catsharks, epaulette sharks, Halmahera walking sharks, Japanese swell sharks, California swell sharks, California hornsharks, Japanese hornsharks, whitespotted bamboo sharks, brownbanded bamboo sharks, and zebra hornsharks.
A highlight of Science of Sharks is how it connects to the vast work that scientists at the Anderson Cabot Center for Ocean Life at the Aquarium are conducting in the field as they use high-tech satellite tagging, for example, and other devices to learn more about sharks. The exhibit also extends the deep dive into shark science from the Aquarium’s highly popular Trust Family Foundation Shark and Ray Touch Tank where visitors touch and feel the backs of small sharks and rays swimming in the largest touch tank in the Northeast.
“It’s thrilling for us to bring the public in closer and more intimately to the work we are doing at the Aquarium to research and understand sharks all over the world,” said Maliz Beams, the Aquarium’s interim President and CEO. “We hope Science of Sharks will help visitors gain a deeper appreciation of sharks which we so often fear before we realize their significance in the ecosystem – and thus what we as humans can do to protect them.”
Other opportunities to learn about sharks include a strong and engaging lineup of free shark lectures this spring by renowned researchers in the Aquarium’s Simons IMAX Theatre where New Englanders are also packing in to see “Great White Shark 3D,” in the top theater destination – by far – in the world for this film.
Hands-on activities in Science of Sharks introduce visitors to the 80 percent of the world’s sharks that measure four-feet in length or less. With sharks dating back 450 million years, the exhibit looks back at their history and how they survive in the Earth’s oceans, adapting to every environment as well as physically from their teeth to their jaws to their ability to swim across open seas. Biology and reproduction rates of sharks are also explored.