Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lemon Sharks


Deciding when (and if) to introduce new animals to an exhibit is critical to their long-term success and the success of their tankmates. Animals that get large and may be dangerous to staff or other animals take considerably more consideration. I recently acquired two lemon sharks (Negaprion brevirostris) from Mystic Aquarium (http://www.mysticaquarium.org/) that are slated to go into our Chesapeake Bay exhibit within the next few weeks. Just getting them here was a challenge in itself, but more on animal transport later.

have the potential of reaching up to 12 feet and have a moderately aggressive nature. These two young males, “Sippy” and “Citron” are already pretty feisty. The following feeding video was taken only a few days after transport:

video


These two get very excited at feeding time and already have attacked several tank-mates, including each other! In just a year or two these sharks will become the dominant animals in this exhibit and I must consider this fact, including their potential aggression towards divers as well. We dive weekly in this exhibit and must be able to safely conduct our work; fortunately we are much larger than them – for now! At some point however, these two animals will get very large and may become aggressive towards us, the other fishes or even our loggerhead sea turtle.

Below is a podcast providing a brief background on lemon sharks and where/how I acquired them:
http://www.archive.org/details/VirginiaLivingMuseumAcquiresTwoLemonSharks

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