- SEA LIFE, Tropical Shark Lagoon
Sharks have lived in our oceans for more than 420 million years... that makes them older than trees!
Their brains have evolved to become more intelligent and devoted to their senses – mainly their ability to smell. There are over 500 species of shark in our oceans and you’ll meet lots of them when you explore our Tropical Shark Lagoon!
SEA LIFE Trust is actively working with the Shark Trust to campaign against unsustainable shark fishing in EU waters. SEA LIFE is also proud to be coordinating the European Black Tip Reef Shark breeding programme.
Black Tip Reef Shark
We love our Black Tip Reef Sharks, they’re jaw-some! And with the prominent black markings on their fins they are easy to spot.
Found on the tropical coral reefs of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, Blacktip Reef Sharks prefer shallow, inshore waters.
These sharks are viviparous
- They give birth to live young rather than laying eggs. In the first few years of their life young Black Tip Reef Sharks often fall prey to larger fish such as groupers, Grey Reef Sharks, Tiger Sharks or even bigger Blacktip Reef Sharks. Juvenile Black Tips often use mangroves as a nursery ground; Hiding amongst the tightly woven roots where bigger Sharks can't reach them
- The Blacktip Reef Shark is a species of requiem shark and belongs to the Carcharhinidae family
- The Blacktip Reef Shark’s diet is composed primarily of small teleost fishes, including mullet, groupers, grunters, jacks, mojarras, wrasses, surgeonfish, and smelt-whitings
Lesser Spotted Dogfish
It might surprise you to see that Dogfish are actually a type of shark. The Lesser Spotted Dogfish is one of the most abundant Shark species in the Northeast Atlantic and Mediterranean.
Rarely growing any longer than 80cm in length, these cute little sharks are opportunistic predators which feed on a wide range of shellfish and crustaceans.
They are also known as Rock Salmon
Fish & chips shops often sell this species of Dogfish under the name Rock Salmon. Another small species of shark, the Spiny Dogfish, has been overfished for its use in Rock Salmon and is now Critically Endangered as a result.
Sharks do not cope with commercial fishing pressure as they reproduce too slowly, so we highly recommend that you avoid Rock Salmon or any Shark if you spot it on a menu.
Prepare to be amazed as you come face-to-fin with our Epaulette Shark.
While swimming, the Epaulette Shark seems to prefer 'walking'. These sharks are well camouflaged. They also have two large black spots surrounded by a white ring, resembling large eyes.
To spot a Nurse Shark, look for the shark with the funny moustache! These dangley bits on their top lip are actually useful things called barbels. Barbels are covered in taste buds and are very sensitive, helping the Nurse Shark to find food hidden in the sandy seabed.