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Meet the "raggies": The misunderstood ragged-tooth sharks

- Blog, Animals, Sharks
Meet the "raggies": The misunderstood ragged-tooth sharks

As humans, we are often led to believe that sharks are dangerous creatures that should be feared. This notion is portrayed in movies, books, pop culture, traditions, and in so many other ways. Sharks have been incorrectly labelled "monsters of the sea", and have been given minimal opportunity to prove themselves to be otherwise. Well, here at the Two Oceans Aquarium, they are given their “voice”, courtesy of the marvellous Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Exhibit.

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The Save Our Seas Foundation Shark Exhibit is home to a beautiful shiver of ragged-tooth sharks. These sharks serve to create awareness as ambassadors of their species, while at the same time providing educational opportunities for our visitors. This exhibit, which is one of the most popular at the Aquarium, provides visitors with the rare and exciting opportunity to experience an up-close encounter with these misunderstood “Raggies”, as they are often called. 

Visitors to the Aquarium are able to learn about the true nature of these animals and why they are some of our most beloved. In the fascinating Shark Alley, which curves around the outer walls of the live exhibit, we provide riveting information on these sharks that will enlighten and amaze anyone who seeks to learn.

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Did you know that the shape of a shark's teeth depends on their diet? Fish-eating sharks, like our ragged-tooth sharks, have long, needle-like teeth, which continually move forward to ensure a constant supply of sharp, new teeth. This results in these sharks losing and replacing thousands of teeth in their lifetime. Have a closeup look next time you visit the Aquarium . 

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As a result of being slow to reach sexual maturity, as well as their inshore habits making them vulnerable to over-fishing, ragged-tooth sharks are threatened around the world. The populations of these sharks in the United States and Australia, are severely threatened. Although the status of the South African ragged-tooth shark population has been classified as “Near Threatened” by International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2003, the actual size of the population is unknown. For this reason, along with so many others, the experience of visiting these sharks and learning about them and their species, is invaluable.

Sea you soon!

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