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May 27, 2013

Visitors to Newquay’s Blue Reef Aquarium will be able to come face to face with more than a dozen different species of sharks and rays as part of their Shark Week event (May 25th – June 2nd).

As well as coming face to face with living members of the shark and ray family ranging from native dogfish and Port Jackson sharks to banded catsharks, stingrays and black tip reef sharks, visitors to the aquarium will also be able to visit the ‘Shark Nursery’ – home to egg-cases, or mermaid’s purses.

Using a mixture of exhibitions, entertaining talks, feeding demonstrations and fun activities, Shark Week aims to dispel many of the popular misconceptions of sharks as mindless man-eaters by showing the facts behind the fiction.

There will also be quizzes and competitions and displays by the Shark Trust – a UK shark conservation group along with other information on what we can all do to help save sharks.

Blue Reef Co-ordinator Jenni Smith said: “Shark Week gives us the chance to show another side of sharks to our visitors.

“We ran a shark week last year and it was one of the most popular events we have had at the aquarium.

“It’s a great opportunity to showcase both the diversity and ingenuity of shark species worldwide. Here at the aquarium people can see the incredible difference in both body shape and size between the different species.

“I’m sure that events like these will help to convert quite a few of the visitors into, if not shark lovers, then at least shark supporters!”

Sharks first appeared in our seas 350 million years ago – that’s 100 million years before the dinosaurs. Today there are over 350 different species from the 18cm spined pygmy shark to the 18-metre whale shark.

British waters are visited by around 30 different species – including the world’s second largest, the basking shark, which can grow to 12 metres.