AQUARIUM PLAYS WHALE SHARK MATCHMAKER

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AQUARIUM PLAYS WHALE SHARK MATCHMAKER

 user 2006-06-06 at 12:29:00 pm Views: 43
  • #15678

    Aquarium plays whale shark matchmaker
    Two females flown 8,000 miles for double date in Atlanta
    –Ralph and Norton, meet Alice and Trixie.The Georgia Aquarium’s two
    male whale sharks got some female companionship on Saturday, when they
    were joined by two females transported to Atlanta from Taipei, Taiwan.
    Researchers are hoping the sharks will mate.
    The
    females — 11 feet and 14 feet long — were flown more than 8,000 miles
    by UPS, which reconfigured a company B-747 freighter with advanced
    marine life support systems to carry them. ( Watch what it took to get
    the sharks together — 1:55)The pilot said they treated the massive
    fish like first-class passengers.”As we were doing the descent, we
    asked to start down a little sooner to make a nice shallow descent, to
    not make things too uncomfortable back there for the whale sharks,” UPS
    pilot Capt. Bob Crum said.The plane’s center of balance was carefully
    planned, according to a statement from the aquarium, and veterinarians
    accompanied the sharks.The delivery company also brought the two males
    to Atlanta, where researchers can study the whale sharks’ behavior,
    breeding and development.The whale sharks — named after the main
    characters in the 1950s sitcom “The Honeymooners” — were delivered to
    the aquarium in special transportation containers.The Georgia Aquarium,
    which opened in November, is the world’s largest aquarium. It was a
    $250 million gift to Georgia from Bernie Marcus, co-founder of The Home
    Depot, and his wife, Billi, through the Marcus Foundation.It is the
    only aquarium outside of Asia to showcase whale sharks, which are the
    largest fish on Earth.The aquarium’s 6.2-million gallon “Ocean Voyager”
    tank can hold up to six whale sharks, so there’s room for the whale
    sharks to start a family.