Few creatures inspire so much fascination – and fear – as sharks. However, sharks are far from the mindless killing machines that they are commonly portrayed to be.
Worldwide, biologists have identified about 470 species of sharks, a cartilaginous fish in the class of Elasmobranchii. Some live peaceful lives skimming plankton from the water with specialized gill rakers. Others have robust social lives and remember their favored companions year after year. A few turn the phrase “cold-blooded killer” on its head even more thoroughly and actually have warm blood pumping through their veins.
Opening on April 20 at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, CT, a new exhibition, "Sharks!," will pose this question: How much of what is commonly “known” about sharks is fact, and how much is fiction?
To answer this question, visitors to this interactive science exhibition will get up close and personal with life-sized models of a great white, hammerhead, and some of their living and extinct cousins. They will watch live sharks developing within eggs, and compare and contrast jaws from nearly 20 different species.
Sharks! will also address environmental change. The oceans are growing warmer and increasingly impacted by chemicals, plastic, and other manmade pollutants. Sharks are harvested by the millions to feed a seemingly insatiable demand for shark fin soup and other products. Can these ancient predators survive in the Anthropocene Era?