April 11, 2014
Visitors to Hastings’ Blue Reef Aquarium will be able to join in with an Easter Egg Hunt with a difference on Sunday, April 20th.
The Rock-a-Nore Road wildlife attraction is inviting people to try and spot special shark egg-cases hidden around the aquarium.
The dried-out cases, which are also known as Mermaids’ purses’, each have a letter on them which spells out a well-known word and everyone who solves the puzzle wins mini chocolate eggs.
The aquarium is also running a colouring competition with the chance to win a family membership.
Visitors will also be able to come face to face with some real shark and ray egg-cases, complete with tiny babies wriggling about inside.
Among the eggs on display are those of a native species of shark known as a dogfish.
Young dogfish are about 10 centimetres long when they eventually hatch after spending up to 11 months developing inside the egg capsule.
Each capsule is usually secured to rocks or seaweed by tendrils which prevent it from being washed away by tides or currents.
Once the sharks have hatched the empty egg-cases – commonly known as mermaids’ purses – are often found washed ashore on beaches.
Recent research has revealed that embryonic sharks and rays developing inside their egg-cases can sense external electric currents and remain motionless when a would-be predator approaches.