Tennessee Aquarium Hatches Baby Shark In The Middle Of Shark Week

Wednesday, July 31, 2019
In a fittingly jaw-some turn of events at the height of Shark Week frenzy, the Tennessee Aquarium hatched a baby female Epaulette Shark earlier this week. 
 
Measuring just a handful of inches long, this tiny, striped shark emerged sometime between Monday evening and Tuesday morning from a leathery egg pouch laid earlier this spring by one of the Aquarium’s six adult Epaulette Sharks. 
 
"The baby shark’s arrival conveniently dovetails with a time when attention on these oceanic predators is at fever pitch thanks to the annual Shark Week celebration (July 28-Aug.
3)," officials said.  "Generally maligned by the public due to aggressive misrepresentations in pop culture, sharks are experiencing an unexpected boom in popularity and affection thanks in part to the children’s music video 'Baby Shark Dance,' which has been watched more than 3.1 billion times on YouTube" 
 
"Given their historic reputation as villains of the ocean, it’s worth seizing any opportunity to present sharks in a better light, particularly to the open minds of younger viewers," says Thom Demas, the Aquarium’s director of aquatic collection. 
 
“That’s one of the things we try to think about,” Mr. Demas says. “If you can get somebody comfortable with something at a young age, then it can really make a difference in the long run. I think the Baby Shark thing has helped a lot.”
 
Epaulette Sharks are also known as “walking sharks” for their ability to “stroll” along the seabed or overland between shallow pools by wriggling their body and perching on the tips of their pectoral fins.  Almost immediately after its emergence from its egg pouch — also known as a “mermaid’s purse” — the baby Epaulette shark began living up to its species nickname by walking, and occasionally gliding, along the bottom of the acrylic holding tank where it currently resides. 
 
Guests can see and touch these sleek, diminutive sharks — as well as Coral Catsharks and Horn Sharks — in the Ocean Journey building’s Stingray Bay touch tank. 
 
The Tennessee Aquarium has a successful history of raising Epaulette Sharks. This species is a prolific breeder and egg layer, with females producing an average of two eggs every two weeks. Between 2012 and 2015, Senior Aquarist Kyle McPheeters raised about 90 Epaulettes, most of which were sent to other aquariums around the country that expressed interest in exhibiting them. 
 
“Epaulette Sharks are way cool,” Mr. McPheeters says. “They’re what got me excited about raising baby sharks to begin with. It’s nice to have one again, and we’ll be able to send it to another aquarium pretty easily when it’s older.”
 
Members of the Aquarium who want to cap off their Shark Week celebration in style can visit the Aquarium’s Epaulette Sharks, Coral Catsharks, Horn Sharks, Sandbar Sharks and Sand Tiger Sharks during the after-hours, SharkFest! celebration on Friday, Aug. 2. From 5-8 p.m., guests can enjoy a special shark-themed treat from Clumpie’s Ice Cream, get their hair done in a fin-tastic ’do, look at a jawsome collection of megaladon teeth and take part in an array of other fun, family friendly activities.

Anakeesta Opens New Tower, Now Downtown Gatlinburg’s Highest Point

Tennessee Aquarium, Medal Of Honor Heritage Center And River Market Have Expanded Hours July 4th Weekend

Museum Of Appalachia To Host July 4th Celebration And Anvil Shoot


Anakeesta is unveiling AnaVista Tower, now downtown Gatlinburg’s highest point. Offering 360-degree views of the Smokies and the only one of its kind in the world, AnaVista Tower offers a unique ... (click for more)

While many community Fourth of July events have fizzled out this year, those who’d like to celebrate America’s birthday in downtown Chattanooga will have more time to enjoy attractions that offer ... (click for more)

While most Americans celebrate Independence Day with fireworks, the Museum of Appalachia marks the occasion with an old-fashioned “anvil shoot”. Every 4th of July, the museum uses gunpowder to ... (click for more)



Travel

Anakeesta Opens New Tower, Now Downtown Gatlinburg’s Highest Point

Anakeesta is unveiling AnaVista Tower, now downtown Gatlinburg’s highest point. Offering 360-degree views of the Smokies and the only one of its kind in the world, AnaVista Tower offers a unique view of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and surrounding states. Nearly two million people have visited Anakeesta since it opened less than three years ago in one of Tennessee’s ... (click for more)

Tennessee Aquarium, Medal Of Honor Heritage Center And River Market Have Expanded Hours July 4th Weekend

While many community Fourth of July events have fizzled out this year, those who’d like to celebrate America’s birthday in downtown Chattanooga will have more time to enjoy attractions that offer safe, relaxing fun for the whole family, said officials. The Tennessee Aquarium, Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, and the Chattanooga River Market have announced ... (click for more)

Breaking News

Hamilton County Adds 75 New Cases, Another Death To COVID Toll; Coppinger Says City Cried Out For Masks, But Now Won't Enforce Mandate

Hamilton County Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes said Friday that Hamilton County has added 75 new coronavirus cases, with the number of cumulative cases being 3,255. She said there are 2,096 recovered cases, and 1,122 active COVID patients in the community. She reported another COVID death to the total. The 37 th death was a White non-Hispanic male between 61-70 ... (click for more)

Protest Leader Takes Down Sheriff's Flag In Front Of Jail, Burns It At Miller Park

A protest leader acknowledged in an Internet post that she took down the Sheriff's Department flag from in front of the County Jail and burned it at Miller Park. Marie Mott said she did so because "I got tired of seeing it flying knowing there are black, brown and poor white people in that jail while white people are allowed not to wear a mask when we have a virus that kills ... (click for more)

Opinion

Mandates Are A Bluff - And Response (13)

Via something called an "Executive Order," the facemask mandate will go into effect in Hamilton County on Friday until Sept. 8. This is an illegal executive order and carries no legal weight. Those issuing it know this, which is why Jim Coppinger was too cowardly to issue it himself, but passed off the dirty deed to Dr. Paul Hendricks, who is not even a duly elected representative ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Made In His Image

Max Lucado, Pastor Emeritus of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Texas, has been my favorite Christian author for many, many years. Fifteen years ago, he was named as The Best Pastor in the United States and his incredible gift is best found in the comforting words that he has used in almost 100 books. The experts tell us that today there are more than 135 million copies of Lucado’s ... (click for more)