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BLATANTLY false advertising... (withdrawn)

Dammit, New England Aquarium. You are NOT going to let me pet a hammerhead. Not even a very small one. Don't jerk me around.

This was a quick screen-cap I took of one of those annoying, in-your-face animated ads on Boston.com's homepage this morning. The hand descends and the shark comes up until they touch. Yeah, right. (click to embiggen)

(For the record, I would like to gather folks for a trip to the NEA to scope out the new Shark & Ray Touch Tank. I got to pet some sharks and rays at Monterey, and it was neat. The sharks are usually quite small and really not all that interested, but the rays are into it. You can see a video of it on the NEA website front page right now. But the whole hammerhead picture is silly. THERE WILL BE NO HAMMERHEADS. Phooey. I did get to see a couple of hammerheads at the Monterey Aquarium, and mostly my impression of them is: they like to hang around at the farthest reaches of the tank away from the windows, and harass the school-fish.)

CORRECTION: So that's what I get for ranting without going to look things up first. Apparently they DO have a bonnethead shark in the touch-tank. The bonnethead is "the smallest species in the family of hammerhead-like sharks". There is a little video of it at that link -- it must be like 2 feet long. AWWWWWWW. Well-played, NEA. I stand corrected.




( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 20th, 2011 02:38 pm (UTC)
I have this image of lil' (say, 10 years old) orca_girl marching up to some hapless guide at NEA, crumpled advertisement in hand. "I was promised Hammerheads!"

I hope they realize that kids who are into (sharks, bugs, dinosaurs, etc) are frequently quite obsessive about classification and will not be sanguine about a sloppy, generic "shark" representation.
Apr. 20th, 2011 02:43 pm (UTC)
... Okay, I did some more poking around, and apparently they DO have a "bonnethead" shark in the pet-tank. A bonnethead is one of the smallest of the hammerhead species. I shall issue a correction immediately.

Also, I am SO THERE.

(I swear, one of my biggest persistent regrets must be that nobody at the time had a camera to take a picture of 5-year-old me putting the baby sand-shark in my lap and petting it.)
Apr. 20th, 2011 02:55 pm (UTC)
I love petting the rays and sharks! I've been to the NEA and it's a great aquarium, from what I remember.
Apr. 20th, 2011 02:58 pm (UTC)
It's a fantastic aquarium. It has one of those multi-storey ocean tanks that you can walk up around in a big spiral, and it also has a very extensive penguin colony.

The Touch-Tank is brand-new, and they are really pushing the advertising for it.

I really liked petting the rays and sharks in CA. They had pet-tanks at both Aquarium of the Bay in San Fran, and at Monterey. It was fascinating how soft the rays were. (Which was the slime. But still. It didn't FEEL like slime, honestly.)

I want to pet that teeny little hammerhead SO BAD! I fear they will not allow me to pick it up and cuddle it, though.
Apr. 20th, 2011 03:19 pm (UTC)
Aww, I love rays. I don't know that I need to touch them, but I could watch them for hours.
Apr. 20th, 2011 03:20 pm (UTC)
You need to touch them! They feel NEAT. Kinda silky.
Apr. 20th, 2011 03:51 pm (UTC)
I would pet the heck out of a teeny little hammerhead. Come to think of it, that might be what they have in the touch tanks at the Atlanta aquarium.

I'll be around the week of May 9th and if you haven't gone to pet the sharkies by then I'd love to take you!
Apr. 22nd, 2011 01:17 am (UTC)
This could be a plan... are you going to be here on a weekend day, or do we need to look at what nights they're open late?
Apr. 22nd, 2011 01:24 am (UTC)
I'll be arriving around (I think) 1 PM or so on Saturday 5/7, so I'll have that afternoon and the following day, weekend-wise. It looks like that's our best bet... according to the website they're only open till 6 on weekdays.
Apr. 20th, 2011 04:14 pm (UTC)
How cool. Hope you go and get to pet the bonnethead!
Apr. 20th, 2011 04:21 pm (UTC)
With my luck, the bonnethead will be lurking in an inaccessible portion of the tank, refusing to participate. (This is what the sharks did in the tank at Monterey, while the rays and skates kept swimming the perimeter and occasionally spyhopping, rather interactively.)
Apr. 20th, 2011 04:23 pm (UTC)
I'll keep my thoughts and wishes on the other end of the spectrum, where they think you're just wunnerful and keep coming back for more. :)
Apr. 20th, 2011 10:16 pm (UTC)
Maybe a mutant hammerhead with no teeth? *veg*

We gotta go there and check this out next time I'm in your neighborhood, kay?
Apr. 22nd, 2011 01:18 am (UTC)
See, with hammerheads, it's brilliant -- their teeth are all on the bottom. So you keep your hand on the top, and it's all good.
Apr. 22nd, 2011 01:23 am (UTC)
It will be a fun visit. Er....you pat it first though, OK?

PS. Oh my gods do I still adore my Mac. Even though I spent a while tonight pasting in chapters of Dr. Jackson's Diary into a word file, saving it as an HTML and then converting it in Calibre so I could download it via the server of my Mac to my iPod Touch and iPhone. Because flipping through chapters wasn't working well enough for me. Heh. And I really think I'll be wanting easy access to laughter in the next few days.
Apr. 20th, 2011 10:43 pm (UTC)
I am still not sure that you will get me to touch ANYTHING, but would you like me to acquire the free passes I can get through work?
Apr. 22nd, 2011 01:18 am (UTC)
Oooo yeah, that's a good idea. I have to check out O&I and see if I can scope out passes, too.
Apr. 22nd, 2011 02:10 am (UTC)
Okay, I'll ask for 4 (that's the most we can get at a time).
Apr. 21st, 2011 07:00 am (UTC)
Heee! Bonnetheads are cute! The nearest decent aquarium to us is 40 miles away in Hull, it's called The Deep and if you ever come to the UK you should check it out. I'm sure you'd like it. The exhibits are mostly in a 30m tank that runs down the height of the building. You go up three floors, start at the top looking at the history of the seas and their development and work your way down to finish by the gift shop ;o)

They have birthday parties and sleepovers next to the tank and (I think) they even allow people to go into the tank during feeding time with the sharks. It's very cool. :o)
Apr. 22nd, 2011 01:20 am (UTC)
I've heard of places that do that -- letting you go in the tank, I mean. That would be the coolest thing. (The sharks in the big tank at the NEA are, like, the fattest and most jaded sharks I've ever seen.)

I also think a sleepover would be pretty darned cool.
Apr. 22nd, 2011 01:00 am (UTC)
Dude, they have a hammerhead? I am so there.
Apr. 22nd, 2011 01:16 am (UTC)
Apparently they have THE TEENIEST KIND of hammerhead. Who could resist?

I expect to coo a lot.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )