While you probably don’t have to worry about encountering a shark in any of Indiana’s lakes or rivers, shark-lovers can still find a few ways to get up close and personal with sharks in Indiana. Below are three shark experiences you can find in the Hoosier State.
The Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is home to two species of sharks, the Blacktip Reef Shark and Zebra Shark. These predators are known for the unique color of their fins and the patterns that cover their bodies. At this zoo, they live in a 50,000-gallon tank inside the Great Barrier Reef Aquarium building.
The shark’s winged cousin is the stingray, and at the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, you can touch two species of these beautiful creatures. The Zoo is home to cownose stingrays and southern stingrays.
People who are looking to get as close as possible to the creatures of the deep should look no further than The Indianapolis Zoo’s Smooth Dogfish Shark Touch Tank. This experience offers shark fans of all ages the opportunity to not just observe and learn from their favorite fish of the sea but get close enough to touch one.
Smooth dogfish shark, also known as a dusky smooth-hound, can change their color from dark to light to camouflage themselves from predators.
The sharks in the touch pool at the Indianapolis Zoo are all males. The females can be found swimming with the cownose rays in the large aquarium when you enter the Oceans exhibit.
Wild sharks may not call Indiana home today, but that wasn’t always the case! Current day Indiana was once covered by saltwater, a fact that is proven by fossils that have been dug up over the years and can be seen on display at the Indiana State Museum. Puzzling bio-masses and copious bitten-up shark fossils were found amidst shale deposits in a western Indiana rock series that represents four wet and dry seasons. The contents of the masses are reminiscent of the innards of a trash can at a coastal pier – fish scales and shark bits.
What do these remains represent? What happened? After a great deal of detective work, paleontologists concluded that carnage ensued when sharks, 300 million years ago, became trapped in shallow pools created as flooding seawater receded during sequential wet and dry seasons. Feeding frenzies and vomiting followed, both of which are behaviors observed in modern sharks.