Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Mall of America Aquarium: Sand Tiger Chomps on White Tip

Who doesn't love Sand Tiger Sharks?

We certainly do. From their curious open-mouth approach to swimming, to their almost equal in size twin dorsal fins, to their menacing look which includes a caudal fin with elongated upper lobe and prominent subterminal notch; Sand Tigers are a sight to behold.

But one thing is for sure: while these beautifully powerful creatures are for the most part harmless, they are indeed unpredictable.

Case in point:

[Mall of America's Underwater Adventures] Aquarium guests visiting on Friday, January 25 watched in awe as Jesse, Shark Cove's biggest Sandtiger shark, attempted to devour a smaller shark. Amazingly, the smaller White Tip Reef Shark survived its harrowing 30-minute ordeal and will make a full recovery, thanks to the daring efforts of Underwater Adventures' Animal Care Team.

Video 1:

Video 2:

After hearing about the incident, Shark Divers took the initiative and called Steve Blair, assistant curator of the Aquarium of the Pacific, for clarification:

"These guys are known in aquariums as reactive hunters, they bite other animals quite frequently. The good news is they do not have tearing and ripping teeth, otherwise that white tip would have been a goner".

A few members of our Neutral Dive Gear staff actually dove with two large Sand Tigers (among various other shark species) at the Downtown Aquarium in Denver last spring.

Click thumbnails to enlarge.

But what about diving?

No flash photography allowed.

400-pound Sand Tiger hovering.

Stoked on aquarium diving!

An absolutely amazing experience. (Check out the rest of our photos from the dive in our MySpace photo album!)

Hat tip: Shark Divers


Anonymous said...

I was just there a couple months ago and saw that shark!

Neutral Dive Gear said...

"I was just there a couple months ago and saw that shark!"