Sharks are some of the coolest creatures in the sea, and Adventure Aquarium provides nothing short of a shark-tacular experience! With the largest collection of sharks in the Northeast, the Aquarium is home to numerous species of these magnificent fish, ranging from lounging carpet sharks to cruising sharks of the open ocean.
What Types of Sharks Can Be Found at Adventure Aquarium?
Adventure Aquarium offers a diverse array of species for guests to see.
Smaller species, such as the epaulette (Hemiscyllium ocellatum), white-spotted bamboo (Chiloscyllium plagiosum), and brown-banded bamboo (Chiloscyllium punctatum) sharks can be found in the Touch-a-Shark exhibit, where guests can actually feel the skin of these carpet sharks.
Shark Realm, which includes Shark Tunnel and Shark Bridge (the longest V-shaped rope-suspension bridge in the world, where you’ll walk inches above sharks swimming right below your feet!), is home to four species of shark:
- The nurse shark (Ginglymostoma cirratum), which you’ll usually find resting on the bottom, just like its fellow carpet sharks.
- The sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus), which is noticeable with its tall dorsal (top) fin, and also known as the brown shark.
- The Atlantic blacktip (Carcharhinus limbatus), which — you guessed it — is named for the black coloring on the tips of its fins.
- The sand tiger (Carcharhinus taurus), who you’ll see slowly gliding by baring its many thin, sharp teeth (which is why it’s also referred to as the ragged-tooth shark).
They’ve also got some amazing sharks in their mesmerizing Ocean Realm, Adventure Aquarium’s largest exhibit:
- The Pacific reef blacktip (Carcharhinus melanopterus), one of their newest residents, which you can distinguished from the Aquarium’s other blacktip sharks is their distinct black markings on the tips of the fins, contrasted against a cream-colored body.
- The beautiful silky shark (Carcharhinus falciformis), which gets its name from the smooth and sleek appearance of its skin.
- The banded hound shark (Triakis scyllium), a small species of shark with sparkling skin and a strong bite for crushing the exoskeletons of crustaceans.
- Last, but not least, is their great Pacific hammerhead shark (Sphyrna mokarran) — his name is Anchor, and he’s one of the Aquarium’s most popular animals.
Where are the Best Spots to Find Sharks at Adventure Aquarium?
- Zone A is home to their Touch-a-Shark exhibit, where guests can interact with carpet sharks and an Eastern fiddler ray, a close relative of sharks.
- Located on the same floor in Zone A, right next to Touch-a-Shark, is Ocean Realm. Holding 760,000 gallons of water and home to four sea turtles (Chelonioidea), giant groupers (Epinephelus lanceolatus) and schools of beautiful fish, Ocean Realm is the largest exhibit in the Aquarium. There, you’ll also find the swift Pacific blacktip reef shark, the sleek silky shark and Anchor.
- Moving to Zone D, Shark Realm offers an immersive experience that puts YOU in the sharks’ world. Shark Tunnel highlights magnificent underwater views, and includes interesting facts about sharks, and how we can help these misunderstood animals. In Shark Realm’s 550,000 gallons of water you'll find sandbar sharks, sand tiger sharks, Atlantic blacktip sharks, nurse sharks, and Anchor, the great hammerhead.
- Looking to get behind the glass? Check out the Aquarium’s Shark and Ray Encounter! You’ll put on a wetsuit, get a snorkel and goggles and literally come face-to-face with sharks and stingrays in Shark Realm.
All About the Great Hammerhead Shark
As we mentioned, Anchor is a great hammerhead shark, one of the largest species in the world. Of all the nine species of hammerhead, the great hammerhead is the largest of all, reaching up to 20 feet long! Anchor is the largest shark at Adventure Aquarium. Using their oddly shaped head, also known as a cephalofoil, hammerheads can detect their prey using incredible senses and eyesight that gives them complete 360-degree vision, helping them locate stingrays or other prey buried deep under the sand.
Come See Their Sharks Up-Close
Shark Summer is the perfect time to explore life underwater at Adventure Aquarium, the destination for fin-tastic fun, amazing experiences and magical memories with family and friends. After all, who doesn’t want to come face-to-fin with a great hammerhead shark and their other spectacular animals?
Reserve your tickets now, and witness the wonders of the ocean for yourself!
About David & Jake Engle
David and Jake are a father-and-son writing duo. Jake’s passion for fish began when he was 6 months old during his first trip to Adventure Aquarium. That passion has only grown (and rubbed off on David, as Jake teaches him everything there is to know!) with time and dozens of visits to Adventure Aquarium over the last 16 years.
Lovers of all sea creatures, especially sharks, David and Jake are excited to share their knowledge and enthusiasm for marine life and, of course, Adventure Aquarium!