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Operation Bamboo Shark

Follow one hobbyist family’s saga as they hatch a baby shark and successfully raise it.

By Jeff Rabin, Ph.D.

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Sometime last fall, my 4-year-old daughter Sophie decided we needed a yellow tang (Zebrasoma flavescens). As I have tried very much to include both my children in my and my wife’s fishkeeping and not had that much success with my daughter, this was all the encouragement I needed. We packed up the bus for the mall, where aside from buying fish we could get some pink shoes for the growing little princess.

On arrival, we hit the pet store — looked sadly at the puppies waiting on adoption — and picked out our tang. It is not really my favorite store, perhaps because of the puppies, but the marine fish on display are of uniformly excellent health and quality. Sophie named our new acquisition Sandy after the squirrel in the spacesuit on the cartoon SpongeBob SquarePants. Fine with me.

Mermaid’s Purse
Something else, however, caught my eye while we were there; a mermaid’s purse. On a reef, it would be all too easy to miss, but in the show tank with its pristine whiter-than-white sand and the unnaturally arranged live rock, the algae-encrusted shark egg stood out like a sore thumb.

Want to read the full story? Pick up the February 2009 issue of Freshwater And Marine Aquarium, or subscribe to get 12 months of articles just like this.

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