Shark Days at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

This weekend the Monterey Bay Aquarium is hosting a Shark Days event. Sharks are extremely mysterious creatures that scientists find difficult to study. You need lots of $$$ and hi-tech equipment to track and observe sharks. Did you know that scientists at the Pacific Shark Research Center JUST discovered a new species of ghost shark living off California's coast? The PSRC scientists study about 25 species of sharks right now, two of which are in the Monterey Bay (cool!).

The "Shark Days" presentations at the aquarium are included in regular admission price, which is nice. The presentations are going to "highlight some of the fascinating facts that are known about sharks and their relatives — such as the fact that hammerhead sharks have electroreceptors on their heads that they use like metal detectors in coastal flats, searching for prey items such as sting rays buried in the sand."

(Click for schedule) Event highlights include:
  • Comic strip artists Jim Tooney of "Sherman's Lagoon" (I loved that comic strip!) will be there, signing books and teaching everyone how to draw a shark
  • First 500 people to visit the event info booth will receive a 2010 "Sherman's Lagoon" shark calendar
  • Meet people that work with sharks every day, hammer (get it?) them with any and all questions
  • Bat ray feedings in the bat ray touch pool
  • Watch a diver feed bat rays, leopard sharks, and sevengill sharks in the Monterey Bay Habitats Ocean Edge exhibit
  • Watch "Tagging Predators" film in the auditorium (it's about satellite tags on sharks, tuna, sea turtles, etc)
  • Watch the hi-def film "Sevengill Sharks of the Bay Area"
  • Face painting!!!
  • Shark related arts-n-crafts
  • For extra $$ you can go on a 50-minute "behind the scenes [tour] to visit the sharks in the research facility, see the transport tanks and learn more about the special care of these animals"

If you have the time this weekend, go, see, feel, learn! The aquarium has 13 different elasmobrachs (aka the subclass of cartilaginous fish that includes sharks, skates and rays) in their tanks including the rare "scalloped hammerhead shark, Galapagos shark and pelagic stingray."

Aquarium hours 10 am - 6 pm daily. Tickets are included with regular aquarium admission of $29.95 general, $27.95 seniors / students, $17.95 children 3-12, children under 3 free. The behind-the-scenes tours are $12 ($10 for members).

Want more information? Check out this article from the Monterey County Hearld.

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