See our four Shark Rays on display in the Newport Aquarium’s Surrounded By Sharks Exhibit! Extremely rare Shark Rays Sweet Pea, Scooter, Sunshine and Spike will win you over with their human-like eyes, and breathtaking grace.
The name Shark Ray, (Rhina ancylostoma), alludes to its appearance. The front section is broad like a ray with prehistoric ridges along the head, while the back section resembles a shark with dual dorsal fins.
Like sharks and rays, they have a skeleton made of cartilage. A Shark Ray’s mouth is equipped with very strong jaws that are covered in small rounded teeth. The strong jaw and teeth are extremely effective in crushing the hard shells of animals such as crabs and lobsters, their favorite foods.Meet our Shark Rays on display in our Surrounded By Sharks Exhibit:
- Sweet Pea – In 2005, Newport Aquarium made history by becoming the first aquarium in the Western Hemisphere to display our first Shark Ray, Sweet Pea.
- Scooter – Added in 2007, to create the world’s first Shark Ray Breeding Program.
- Sunshine – Arrived at Newport Aquarium in 2009, and was on display in our Coral Reef Exhibit before transferring to the Aquarium’s off-site research holding facility. She has now joined the rest of the Shark Ray group in the Surrounded By Sharks Exhibit.
- Spike – Our newest member of the Shark Ray group. He weighs just over 200 pounds and is the second male added to the group.
Shark Ray Pups Born at Newport Aquarium To Make Public Debut
In honor of World Oceans Day (June 8, 2016), Newport Aquarium announced that the rare shark rays born earlier in 2016 are ready to make their public debut. This will be the first time the five month old shark ray pups have been on exhibit. The public is invited to see them in the aquarium’s 55,000 gallon Coral Reef tunnel exhibit beginning Friday, June 24.
The Shark Ray pups were born to Sweet Pea at Newport Aquarium's offsite animal health facility on January 5th, 2016. The pups’ weight ranged from 2.0 to 2.4 pounds, while their length ranged from 18 – 22 inches.
Get the latest updates on Sweet Pea and her shark ray pups in our latest blog post.