Get your teeth into the wierd world of sharks

Banded cat shark
Banded cat shark

Visitors to Hastings Blue Reef Aquarium will have the chance to immerse themselves in a world of sharks and rays until Sunday (February 22).

Over the February half-term break this week the attraction in Rock-a-Nore Road has been hosting Shark Week.

Using a mixture of exhibitions, entertaining talks, feeding demonstrations and fun activities, Shark Week aims to dispel many of the popular misconceptions of sharks as mindless man-eaters by showing the facts behind the fiction.

Visitors will be able to come face to face with living members of the shark family including nurse hounds, angel sharks, banded cat sharks and black tip reef sharks.

There will also be quizzes, competitions and information from the Shark Trust - a UK shark conservation group. Visitors will learn all about how to save sharks.

Blue Reef Aquarium’s Leanna Lawson said: “We’re hoping the combination of fun quizzes and our own shark activities will help to provide our visitors with a different view of these much-maligned predators. Shark Week is a chance for us to showcase just how amazing these wonderful creatures really are.”

Sharks first appeared in the world’s seas 350 million years ago - that is 100 million years before the dinosaurs.

Today there are more than 350 different species from the 18cm spined pygmy shark to the 18-metre whale shark.

British waters are visited by around 30 different species - including the world’s second largest, the basking shark, which can grow to 12 metres.

Recently aquarists at Blue Reef Aquarium picked a name for their newly-arrived blacktip reef shark with the help of younger visitors. The Rock-a-Nore Road attraction invited youngsters to choose a suitable name for the baby shark. They received close to 50 suggestions. After much debate, they opted for Razor, which was suggested by nine-year-old Reece Pellosis from Ashford in Kent.