At the Greensboro Science Center, we’re celebrating our first Shark Week since the opening of the Carolina SciQuarium! The SciQuarium’s 90,000-gallon Shark Reef Exhibit is home to three species of sharks: sandbar sharks, blacknose sharks and blacktip sharks.
The two largest sharks in the exhibit are sandbar sharks, named Lex Luther and Magneto. Sandbars are the most common species of shark swimming along the Atlantic coast. When full grown, they range from six feet to about seven and a half feet in length and can weigh between 100 and 200 pounds. Sandbar sharks are listed as a vulnerable species on the IUCN’s Red List. One cause is that sandbars are prone to over-fishing. Their long lifespan coupled with a long gestation period that produces few babies means populations tend to take longer to rebound. Click here for more information about sandbar sharks.
Our blacknose sharks, Ray, Egon, Peter and Winston, are the mid-sized sharks swimming around the exhibit. Blacknose shark get their name from the relatively dark spot located under their noses. They average about four feet in length and weigh an average of just 22 pounds when full grown. An interesting fact about blacknose sharks is that they have never been reported in a shark attack case. Click here to learn more about blacknose sharks.
Currently the smallest sharks in the Shark Reef, our blacktip sharks are named Batman, Batgirl and Robin. These sharks tend to move in groups based on their sex and age. They can be identified, as their name suggests, by the black tips located on their fins. Our blacktip sharks are fairly young. They reach maturity at around four or five years old and can grow to eight feet in length and weigh as much as 220 pounds when full grown! Check out our blacktip shark fact sheet.