Do you dare to pet a shark?

About rays, sharks and fish

When you think of animals in the sea, in addition to the large marine mammals such as our dolphins and seals, you probably immediately think of fish. Fish come in all shapes and sizes. There are thousands of different types!

Sharks and rays are also fish. And they also come in many varieties. From the small dogfish that you get to know with us in the Roggenrif, to the whale shark that can grow up to fifteen meters in length. That’s even longer than a bus!


There is, however, a difference between ‘normal’ fish and rays and sharks. We call the ‘regular’ fish bony fish, because they have a skeleton of bone, or bones – you may know the bones from the fish on your plate. Bony fish that you can spot in the Dolfinarium include sea bass, gilt-head bream, thick-lipped mullet, three-spined stickleback, spotted wrasse, rainbow trout, plaice and turbot. Rays and sharks do not have bones, but a skeleton of cartilage. Therefore, those species fall under the cartilaginous fishes.


The rays you encounter in the Dolfinarium actually look more like a swimming pancake than a fish. Yet they are! There are almost five hundred different species of rays. The mouth and gills of rays are on the underside, but the eyes are on top of the head. Many rays also have venom spines on their tails to defend against attackers. But don’t worry: the rays that you can pet with us are very friendly and also not poisonous. Just try!

“Which came first: the ray or the rye egg?”

Like a chicken, most rays and sharks lay eggs. In our Shark Bay you can view eggs from different sharks and rays.

Discover the Shark Bay soon


When you think of sharks, you probably immediately think of their teeth. Sharks not only sometimes have very large teeth, but also a lot! Because where we humans only have one row in our mouth, a shark often has several. Handy, because if a tooth breaks, he immediately has a new one. That is also the reason that you can find shark teeth on the beach, if you look closely. In the Netherlands too! Have you ever found it?

Sharks not only have teeth in their mouths, but also on their skin. As a result, the shark has less resistance in the water, and that makes it super fast. These small teeth make a shark feel like sandpaper. Do you dare to feel that? It’s possible in our Ray reef!

During the educational presentation by the caretakers of these animals, you can also feed them. And if you want to know even more about sharks, you should definitely stop by our Shark Bay. You will find this at the back of the Roggenrif. We’ll see you there!

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Volgende show: 13:30 uur - Dolfijnenshow
On this moment: Actueel weerbeeld als pictogram 22 °C