SOLOMONS, Md. – On Saturday June 9th, the Calvert Marine Museum celebrated their annual Sharkfest, a celebration of the ultimate apex predators of the ocean.
At this festival guests are given the opportunity to learn all there is to know about these enigmatic sea creatures and the important role that they play in the ecosystem of planet Earth’s waters from the marine biologists that study and research them.
One of these marine biologists, Dr. David Shiffman, a research scientist at the Marine Stewardship Council, gave a presentation, based around his new book Why Sharks Matter, on the importance of preserving the world’s shark population.
According to Shiffman, “I have been interested in sharks for as long as I can remember and as I started learning more about them I realized how important they are and decided that science could be used to help them.”
Guests could also learn the prehistoric history of sharks from the paleontologists that study their fossils and teeth. Throughout the museum, there were a number of exhibits featuring the fossilized remains of long dead sharks, as well as teeth from various sharks, both modern and prehistoric.
Museum staff members also were on hand by these exhibits to provide some information and background on these natural artifacts. One of these staff members was the museum’s Paleontology Collections Manager John Nance.
When asked about the festival, Nance replied, “It’s just a cool thing we can use to get kids interested in the science and fossils of sharks.”
Of course there was the main event, the pavilion shark tank full of live sharks.
The sharks on display in the tank were horn sharks and dogfish, small sharks that scour the Bay’s surface searching for food. These animals could also be touched by any observer who was willing to do so, gently and under the supervision of staff.
Food trucks and Rita’s Italian Ice were present outside of the museum, providing refreshment to hungry visitors.
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