*Temporarily Off Exhibit*
Adventure Aquarium’s 750,000 gallon Ocean Realm Exhibit
is home to a very unique fish species: Bowmouth Guitarfish, also known as the Shark Ray.
Little is known about the strange and beautiful Shark Rays. We do know one thing for sure, though; they're definitely unique-looking. Their front half is wide and flat like a stingray, and their back half is long and slender, with tall fins, like a shark. That's where the Shark Ray name comes from, because they resemble both sharks and stingrays. But are they a shark or a ray? The answer is….neither! They are actually guitarfish, and while guitarfish are in the same family as sharks, rays, skates, and sawfish, they are in a category all their own.
All the members of the guitarfish family have a wide, flat head, and a long skinny tail, so if you look at them from above or below, they look like a guitar. The species we have is called a "Bowmouth" Guitarfish because its mouth is curved like a longbow. As if these animals' half-ray-half-shark appearance wasn't enough, they're also uniquely colored. Like most sharks and rays, they have a white underside. But on top, they're brown with lots of black and white spots. Plus, they have thorny ridges that run down the tops of their heads. Why? So they can head-butt their enemies! As you probably guessed, their unique appearance makes them pretty easy to spot. So be sure to stop by Ocean Realm to get a glimpse of our awesome Shark Rays. Few people have ever seen one up close, and now you can be one of them.