SANDY — The Living Planet Aquarium is presenting "Shark Week" in tandem with television's Discovery Channel.

The aquarium's four sharks will be on display through this week, and special educational programs will focus on shark feeding and mating, behavior and habitat.

The "Shark Spectacular" series also will debunk myths. For example, of more than 350 shark species in the world, 80 percent are incapable of harming humans, according to aquarium curator Andy Allison.

The aquarium's sharks include the white-tip reef shark, the leopard shark and the nurse shark. They live together in a 15,000-gallon tank.

The aquarium hopes to build a new, larger tank and add more sharks as the organization expands. The number of visitors to the nonprofit fish haven has increased annually since it changed location from Salt Lake City to Sandy, said spokeswoman Gina Roberts. The majority of visitors come from Salt Lake City and Sandy, but others come from across the Wasatch Front. About 9 percent visited from outside Utah.

The Living Planet hopes to soon add a "Journey to South America" exhibit, which would include a black piranha, carnivorous plants, penguins, sardines and jungle insects. Some of the planned species are already in holding at the aquarium.

Living Planet officials also hope to build a new structure in two phases within the next few years, at a price tag of $15 million.

In addition to sharks, the aquarium also features a coral reef habitat, native Utah fish, giant coral and razor-toothed eels. A favorite attraction among the 150 species there is the southern stingray touch pool.

For more information on Shark Week or to see videos and take quizzes, visit discovery.com. For more information on the aquarium at 725 E. 10600 South, visit thelivingplanet.com or call 355-FISH (3474).

If you go:The Living Planet Aquarium "Shark Spectacular" programs, free with admission, are at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. today through Friday and at 2 p.m. Saturday. The charge is $8 for adults; $7 for seniors, students and military; $6 for children 3 and older; and free for younger children. Memberships are also available. The Discovery Channel will air "Shark Week" programs daily through Friday at 7 p.m.


E-mail: rpalmer@desnews.com