There is more to sharks than the menacing creature that terrorized swimmers in the 1970s movie "Jaws. " An exhibit that opened this month at the Monterey Bay Aquarium wants to...

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MONTEREY, Calif. — There is more to sharks than the menacing creature that terrorized swimmers in the 1970s movie “Jaws.”

An exhibit that opened this month at the Monterey Bay Aquarium wants to dispel some of the stereotypes about the most feared marine animal.

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“The biggest misperception about sharks is that they are sort of bloodthirsty predators always looking to attack people, but nothing could be further from the truth,” exhibit curator Ava Ferguson said.


The “Sharks: Myth and Mystery” exhibit includes nearly two dozen living species. Exhibit developers at the aquarium, one of the most popular places along California’s central coast, want to show visitors how the common feelings of fear and fascination toward sharks and rays have influenced art, music, dance, myths and even architecture of cultures around the world.


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Where: The aquarium is in Monterey, about 115 miles south of San Francisco, at 886 Cannery Row.

How much: “Sharks: Myth and Mystery” is included in the regular aquarium admission of $19.95 adult; $17.95 senior (over 65); $15.95 student (13-17 or with college ID); and $8.95 child (3-12) and disabled.

More info: 831-648-4888 or visit www.mbayaq.org


The $2.5 million exhibit has been divided into seven small spaces representing different regions of the world, a touch pool and a discovery room. The exhibit is part of the aquarium’s 20th-anniversary festivities and is expected to remain open for at least three years, aquarium spokesman Ken Peterson said.

The aquarium also has installed Shark Cam, a Web camera that will provide a view of creatures like the leopard catshark, which does not present any threat to humans even though it grows to a length of 3 feet. It gets its name not only from its body pattern but also because it can curl its body until its tail covers its eyes, just like a sleeping pet cat.