Camden, NJ – With teeth the size of a human hand and a length that rivals that of a Greyhound Bus, Megalodon was unquestionably one of the world’s most massive predators. At 60 feet long, Megalodon was the largest shark that ever lived, clearly the dominant marine predator of its time. Though Megalodon vanished over 2 million years ago, its fascinating story continues to inspire lessons for science and shark conservation.
Beginning Saturday, June 23, Adventure Aquarium tells this extraordinary story in an exciting national traveling exhibit, “MEGALODON: LARGEST SHARK THAT EVER LIVED.” The exhibition, which was produced by the Florida Museum of Natural History with support from the National Science Foundation and is sponsored locally by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, features a 60-foot-long walk-through metal sculpture and highlights the evolution, biology and misconceptions regarding a number of giant prehistoric sharks.
“Most people have heard of Megalodon, but few really know its story,” said Kevin Keppel, Adventure Aquarium’s Executive Director, who was instrumental in bringing the exhibition to Adventure Aquarium. “The mere existence of this massive creature really captures our imaginations and inspires us to want to learn more about how Megalodon lived, how it died, and what we can learn from it today.”
As unique as Megalodon was, so too is this exhibition that tells the story of this enormous creature. See fossils and modern shark specimens, as well as full-scale models from several collections. Visitors can enter a full-size metal sculpture of Megalodon through massive jaws and discover this shark’s history and the world it inhabited, including its size, structure, diet, lifespan, relatives, neighbors, evolution and extinction. The exhibit also provides details on improving the health of our oceans and survival of threatened species, and describes how this animal continues to fascinate many, elevating Megalodon to near cult status. From biker jackets to postage stamps, the exhibition explains the many ways Megalodon remains a part of human culture through art, literature, music and film.
“Sharks play a vital role in our marine ecosystem,” said Marc Kind, Director of Husbandry at Adventure Aquarium, “including keeping our ocean’s fish and invertebrate populations healthy and stable. Our hope is that seeing and learning about Megalodon, alongside Adventure Aquarium’s impressive live shark collection, will ultimately help inspire a new and exciting appreciation for these incredible animals.”
Indeed, there’s no shortage of shark-infested fun at Adventure Aquarium this summer. Featuring over 2 million gallons of water and 16 unique shark species - over 70 sharks in total - Adventure Aquarium’s shark collection rivals that of the nation’s top aquariums. Visitors can touch live sharks, like White-spotted and Brown-banded Bamboo Sharks, Coral Cat Sharks, Zebra Bullhead Sharks, and more; and can experience the massive 550,000-gallon Shark Realm exhibit, home to an impressive collection of Sand Tiger Sharks, Sandbar Sharks, Nurse Sharks and more. Walk through a 40-foot suspended Shark Tunnel to stand within inches of over 20 sleek and stunning sharks. Visitors can also enjoy a rare treat at Ocean Realm, a 760,000-gallon exhibit, the largest of all the Aquarium’s underwater exhibits, where they can view a collection of rare shark species, including Black Tip and Black Nose Sharks, Zebra Sharks, Silky Sharks, and not only one, but two Great Hammerhead Sharks – the only Great Hammerheads on exhibit in the entire country!
The best part? This summer, the sprawling, 5,000-square foot Megalodon exhibit can be enjoyed with the purchase of a general admission ticket to Adventure Aquarium.
“Not only can Adventure Aquarium visitors learn more about the largest shark that ever lived, they can do so set against the backdrop of the largest and most impressive live shark collection on the East Coast,” said Keppel.
Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived is on exhibit for a limited time only; June 23 through September 3, 2012. Admission to the exhibit is included with the price of admission to Adventure Aquarium.