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The National Marine Aquarium's new Lemon Sharks go on public display

The National Marine Aquarium's two new Lemon Sharks have now entered the Atlantic Ocean tank, going on public display for the first time - adding a brand new species to the Aquarium Shark family. 

The pair have been in quarantine since they arrived from The Netherlands in November, with the Aquarium's Husbandry team keeping a close eye on their health and wellbeing, as well as target training the Sharks to feed.  Having only ever been in a tank with other Lemon Sharks, the team has needed to teach the Sharks how to behave as part of a marine community.  

The Sharks have been released into their own private area at the back of the Atlantic Ocean exhibit to allow them to settle in, before joining the Aquarium's other Shark residents including Nurse Sharks and Sand Tiger Sharks, as well as the likes of Eagle Rays, Tarpon, Barracuda and Southern Stingrays.

Watch the Lemon Sharks being moved into the Atlantic Ocean tank:

The Lemon Sharks are the eldest in Europe, and were based at Emmen Zoo since 1984, when they arrived as juveniles from the US measuring in at just 60cm in length.  Now fully grown, the male and female Lemon Sharks are an impressive 2.5 metres long, making them the biggest Shark species to reside at the National Marine Aquarium.

Lemon Sharks get their name from their yellow-brown pitted skin, which has the appearance of a lemon and helps them blend in against sandy seafloors when hunting. They are short-nosed and stocky Sharks with a powerful bite, although they are actually quite gentle and non-aggressive to humans.

James Wright, Assistant Curator at the National Marine Aquarium, said: “We're very excited to introduce the Lemon Sharks to our Atlantic Ocean exhibit. The Sharks will remain in their own private area in the tank for the next few weeks while they acclimatize to their new surroundings, before we release them to meet and join their new tank mates. Up until now visitors have been able to keep an eye on their progress via a web cam, but now our visitors will be able to see them close up in the tank, along with the rest of our many marine species."

Lemon Sharks Fact File:

Lemon Sharks scientific name is Negaprion brevirostris
Lemon Sharks are found in tropical and subtropical waters in coastal areas of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans
They are very social species and rarely seen in isolation
Their gentle and non-aggressive behaviour towards humans makes Lemon Sharks popular with Shark divers

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