Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Aquarium Hosts 5K Race

Aquarium Hosts Third Annual 5k Race

Kure Beach, NC – Environmentally conscious athletes came out in droves this weekend to support a local initiative. The NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher is proud to announce the success of its annual 5k Race for the Planet on Sunday, April 17, 2011. WECT Meteorologist Colin Hackman served as the emcee for the event which took place at the Aquarium and featured over 300 participants.

Overall winner and Carolina Beach local Shawn McKee finished the race with a time of 17 minutes and 29 seconds. Erin Hogston completed the race as female overall winner with a time of 19 minutes and 35 seconds. Male masters winner Alex Bonnington finished with a time of 21 minutes and 34 seconds. Female masters winner Jacqueline Billings finished with a time of 26 minutes and 24 seconds. A complete list of race results can be found on the Wilmington Roadrunners website at: http://www.wilmingtonroadrunners.org/raceresults11.asp.

All participants received an eco-friendly numbered bib embedded with wildflower seeds that can grow once the bib is planted. Winners received clay medals created with the help of Hiroshi Sueyoshi of the Cameron Art Museum as well as rain barrels, paintings, and gift cards.

The Aquarium at Fort Fisher would like to say a special thanks to all of our volunteers, participants and sponsors for their help in facilitating this event. Sponsors and donors included: Atlantic Spinal Rehab & Wellness Clinic, Cameron Art Museum, The Casserole, CVS, Chili’s, Chuck E. Cheese’s, Food Lion, Fort Fisher State Historic Site, Gold’s Gym Longleaf Mall, Got to Be NC, Harris Teeter, Lowe’s Foods, Mary Kay Cosmetics, Moe’s Southwest Grille, NC Aquarium Society, Omega Sports, Pepsi, Port City Java, Rain Water Solutions, RedFlagSurfStudio.com, Sam’s Club, Snapdragon, Screen Print, SandyBands, Sea Witch Cafe & Tiki Bar, Somatic, Target and the Wilmington Area Woodturners Association.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Megalodon at the Mall?

Visitors to the Crabtree Valley Mall in Raleigh have been pleasantly greeted by a six foot tall Megalodon shark jaw since September 2010. In a matter of weeks that jaw will be packed up and shipped south in preparation for the NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher’s new exhibit Megaladon: Diving with North Carolina’s Ultimate Predator.

Similar to modern day sharks and rays, Megalodon was a cartilaginous fish. The only remaining scientific evidence from this extinct predator is teeth. Ranging in length from four to six inches, the teeth indicate that this animal was massive, approximately 50-60 feet.

The Aquarium’s replicated jaw has an interesting story. The original Megalodon teeth were found in Aurora, NC – a full set. Megalodons had four rows of teeth. Most Megalodon models use two or three teeth molds repeated on each row. This jaw is made from molds from the complete set: four rows of each individual tooth.

The jaw will soon be displayed in a new interactive exhibit scheduled to open at the Aquarium in mid-June. The various artifacts and fun features of the display will allow visitors an opportunity to test their shark smarts as they learn about the extinct predator of the deep. Aquarium visitors will also learn more about modern day sharks which face similar threats and how important these species are for healthy ocean ecosystems.

Megalodon ruled the sea from 20 million to about two million years ago. Climate change during this time may have caused their extinction by altering the migratory routes of whales, which was the food of choice for Megalodon.