Have you met your new neighbors? No, no. We’re not talking about the ones that live down the block; we’re talking about the ones at Adventure Aquarium. Adventure Aquarium is home to animals from all over the world, including our Nile hippos and African Black-Footed penguins; however, some of our coolest creatures can be found just miles off the New Jersey coast. Do you know who you’ve been swimming with?
Sand Tiger Sharks: These sharks can be identified by their sharp, pointy head and bulky body and are marked with brown spots down their sides. Sand Tigers prefer to hunt close to shore, and they get their name because they generally live close to shorelines or sandy beaches. One of the most unique things about Sand Tigers is that they gulp air and store it in their belly to increase buoyancy. This allows the Sand Tiger to be suspended in the water column which helps it hunt motionlessly and quietly.
Sandbar Sharks: Also known as the Brown shark, Sandbar sharks are one of the largest coastal sharks in the world. They have a high, triangular dorsal fin and very long pectoral fins. These sharks are commonly found over muddy or sandy bottoms in shallow coastal waters, but sandbar sharks also swim in deeper waters and intertidal zones. The Delaware Bay is actually one of the largest nursery grounds for sandbar sharks, so juveniles are abundant in the lower bay.
Chain Dogfish: Chain Dogfish are new to Adventure Aquarium, and will be on exhibit for limited time only during Shark Week: LIVE! Get up close and personal with these sharks at one of Adventure Aquarium’s touch tanks. These smaller sharks measure about a foot long. They’re considered harmless and are rarely encountered by humans (unless you’re at Adventure Aquarium, of course). Chain Dogfish can be found at very deep depths ranging from 500 to 1,800 feet. Their pattern of narrow black stripes are so distinctive, Chain Dogfish are easy to identify.
Nurse Sharks: While not as common to New Jersey as other shark species at Adventure Aquarium, they can still occasionally be found off the coast. Nurse sharks are bottom-dwellers and are nocturnal, so they spend the day in large groups of up to 40 sharks and hunt at night. Their diet consists of crustaceans, mollusks, sea snakes, and other fish. Nurse sharks can reach a length of anywhere between 10-14 feet.
Blacktip Sharks: Blacktip sharks are another shark species that are occasionally found off the Jersey coast, but they normally prefer coastal tropical and subtropical waters. They get their name from the black tips or edges on the pectoral, dorsal, pelvic, and caudal fins. Blacktips usually grow to be about 5 feet in length. These sharks are hunted commercially for their meat, skin, fins, and liver oil. They have been deemed as Near Threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
There is no better time to visit all of our sharks than during Adventure Aquarium’s Shark Week: LIVE! . So what are you waiting for? Buy your tickets now through August 11 online and receive $5 off using discount code SHARK.