Oregon Coast Aquarium Bites into Shark Week Myths with Facts and Fun

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A great white shark breaches the open ocean's surface.

Shark Week celebrations at the Oregon Coast Aquarium are markedly different from the better known television event. The myth of a living modern megalodon, and disproportionate representation of sharks biting humans will be noticeably absent. The facts presented, however, will be no less thrilling. The Aquarium’s Shark Conservation Weekend will separate fact from fiction to unveil these fascinating predators, without the bloody curtain of Hollywood myths, on August 9 and 10.

The Aquarium will set a stage to promote understanding of these keystone predators with SCUBA diver presentations in the shark-infested Open Sea exhibit and the education program, “The Flying Great White Sharks of South Africa,” with Aquarium Science Program Director Chris Spaulding from the Oregon Coast Community College.

The Aquarium’s staff artist, Michael Cole, will work on a painting of a tiger shark while he chats with guests about how he brings these two-dimensional representations of marine animals to life. Free posters of Cole’s “Sharks of Oregon” painting will be available for visitors to take home, supplies are limited.

Activities for visitors of all ages will circle throughout the Aquarium promoting understanding of sharks. Kids under 10 will be able to learn through play about the unique adaptions of Oregon shark species in the Sea & Me exhibit and during the Saturday and Sunday morning Shark Shenanigans education program – complete with an opportunity to size up a life-sized representation of a great white shark.

Shark enthusiasts that cannot get enough of these incredible animals during regular Aquarium hours may doze off just inches from mighty sevengill, leopard, soupfin and other sharks during one of two shark-themed sleepover programs on Saturday, July 27 to Sunday, July 28 and Saturday, August 9 to Sunday August 10. Space is limited and reservations must be made at least one week in advance. Details and reservations for Sleep with Sharks are available at aquarium.org.

Shark Conservation Weekend activities, with the exception of Sleepovers, are included with Aquarium admission and will take place from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. For a schedule of events and more information visit aquarium.org or call (541) 867-FISH.

Those unable to visit the Aquarium can still bite into Shark Conservation Weekend on the Oceanscape Network, which will feature a flurry of articles, videos and downloadable guides about Oregon’s sharks.

The Oregon Coast Aquarium is dedicated to the highest quality aquatic and marine science programs for recreation and education so that the public better understands, cherishes, and conserves the world’s natural marine and coastal resources. An accredited Association of Zoos & Aquariums institution, this 501(c)3 non-profit organization is ranked as one of the top 10 aquariums in the U.S. Visit us at 2820 S.E. Ferry Slip Rd., Newport, OR. aquarium.org, (541) 867-3474. Follow us on Facebook.com/OregonCoastAquarium, or Twitter.com/OrCoastAquarium for the latest updates.

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