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“Shark Week”- The Tooth, the Whole Tooth, and Nothing but the Tooth

Sink Your Teeth into a Week of Family Fun at the Tennessee Aquarium.

Chattanooga, Tenn. (July 17th, 2007) – Simply mentioning the word shark conjures up the vision of the blood-thirsty eating machines that have been shown on movie screens and television sets. In fact, these images have been seen so often some people can’t enjoy a day at the beach without scanning the waters for an oversized dorsal fin. But in reality sharks are the ones in trouble worldwide and need our protection.

The Tennessee Aquarium is partnering with the Association of Zoos and Aquariums to help inspire everyone to see sharks as an important natural resource worthy of conservation. During the Discovery Channel’s 20th anniversary of “Shark WeekJuly 29th through August 4th, the Tennessee Aquarium has scheduled special activities, giveaways and events to raise awareness about declining shark populations and why everyone should be concerned. “The declining shark population in one case has allowed an increase in cownose rays which in turn wiped out an entire scallop fishery which had existed for over a century,” reports Thom Demas, curator of fishes at the Aquarium. “Sharks are in the oceans to keep the complex food webs in check.”

Looking for the truth about sharks? Nick Caloyianis has the answers. This award winning underwater filmmaker has captured over 40 different shark species on film or video. Caloyianis has achieved several shark firsts in his spectacular career including being the first to film a Greenland shark under the ice, and being the first person to film the mating behavior of any shark species. He and his partner Clarita Berger will make a special presentation “In the World of Sharks” at the Tennessee Aquarium July 31st at 7:00 p.m. “I plan on having a conversation with the audience at the Aquarium about my experiences underwater and showing some things that have never been seen before,” said Caloyianis. “I work with photographing high profile animals like sharks and conserving those animals.” That is a powerful statement coming from a man who almost had his underwater film career ended by a bull shark.

Learn the whole truth about sharks from divers in the Aquarium’s Secret Reef. Fantastic and fun shark facts will be presented while toothy Sandbar and Sand Tiger sharks swim slowly among the divers. Ask them about the shark’s teeth, eating habits and how they live. The answers may be surprising. “We hope that after seeing these amazing creatures in the Secret Reef, folks will remember that we must be good stewards of our planet’s natural resources,” said Demas. Volunteers will also be ready to reveal the whole truth about bamboo and epaulette sharks while visitors are encouraged to touch them at Shark Island. Special “Shark Week” facts will also be posted near every display with sharks.

Dive into adventure and get nothing but the truth about sharks with a special return engagement of “Sharks 3D” at the IMAX 3D Theater. During “Shark Week” at the Tennessee Aquarium, IMAX audiences will have the opportunity to come face to face with several shark species filmed in their natural environment twice daily. The thrilling 3D images and compelling script aim to rehabilitate the public image of sharks and help put an end to the steady decline of the global shark population. Presented by Jean-Michael Cousteau, “Sharks 3D” features the facts about Great White, Hammerhead and Sand Tiger sharks like those seen at the Aquarium. “Sharks 3D sheds new light on the urgent need to protect these magnificent endangered animals, which are so essential to the survival of our oceans,” Cousteau said. “To inspire and educate people to act responsibly in order to ensure the preservation of the world’s oceans is a mission the film and I have long shared.”

In addition, Sandie the Shark will give the first 500 children admitted to the Tennessee Aquarium one of the following “Shark Week” items:

  • A fact filled “Shark Week” brochure with 2 iron-ons so kids can create their own “Shark Week” T-shirt.
  • “Warning - Shark Attack” book by Mark Shulman. A fun and engaging children’s book filled with shark facts and pictures.
  • Top Trump Shark Week Cards. These fun trading cards feature sharks and rays and provide information about the species on the card.

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The Tennessee Aquarium inspires wonder and appreciation for the natural world. Admission is $19.95 per adult and $10.95 per child, ages 3-12. Each ticket purchased helps support Aquarium conservation programs. The IMAX® 3D Theater is next door to the Aquarium. Ticket prices are $7.95 per adult and $5.50 per child. Aquarium/IMAX combo tickets are $24.95 for adults and $14.95 for children. Advance tickets may be purchased online at www.tnaqua.org or by phone at 1-800-262-0695. The Aquarium, located on the banks of the Tennessee River in Chattanooga, is a non-profit organization. Open every day except Thanksgiving and Christmas, the Aquarium and IMAX are accessible to people with disabilities. Members enjoy unlimited visits and other benefits. Call 267-FISH to join.

ONLINE downloadable images: http://www.tnaqua.org/Newsroom/Photo_library.asp



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