Meet the Animals: Sharks!


Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris): Clownfish have a mutualistic symbiotic relationship with sea anemones.  The stinging tentacles of the anemone protect the clownfish from predators.  Because of its mucus coating, the clownfish is immune to the anemone’s sting.  In return, the clownfish defends the anemone from predators that would nibble on its tentacles and acts as lure to draw other fishes in close for the anemone to eat.

Brown Banded Bamboo Shark (Chiloscyllium punctatum): The brownbanded bamboo shark inhabits  nearshore coral reefs, where it hunts for its favorite foods – crabs, shrimps, and small fishes – at night.  It can find these snacks even in the dark because of its barbels, whisker-like sensory organs that it uses to search through the sand.  Brownbanded bamboo sharks only grow to be about three feet long, and they are not a threat to humans.

Stingray (Dasyatis or Urobatis sp.): Stingrays get their name because of the venomous barb on their tail that they use to protect themselves from predators.  When a stingray stabs a predator with its barb, the barn often breaks off, and the stingray sloughs toxic tissue into the wound, creating an excruciating burning sensation.  Don’t worry, though.  Stingrays don’t want to waste their barbs on humans, and the best way to avoid being stung at the beach is to shuffle your feet – not stomp – through the water.  

Little Skate (Leucoraja erinacea): Our little skate may look a lot like a stingray, but it has no stinger on its tail!  Instead of a barb for protection, skates have thick skin and thorny ridges on their backs and tails.  Additionally, little skates have an organ in their tail that can produce weak electric fields, but don’t worry!  This electricity is used for helping the skate find food and is not dangerous to humans.

***Animals subject to change according to season and availability.  If there is a specific animal you would like to meet, let us know, and we will do our best to accommodate you!***