Up Close & Coastal

The centerpiece of the North Carolina Aquarium on Roanoke Island is the 285,000-gallon Graveyard of the Atlantic tank exhibit, where scientists have created a mini ecosystem for sharks and other ocean dwellers.

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NC Essential Science Standards Alignment: 6L.2.3 — Life Science/Ecosystems/Understand the flow of energy through ecosystems and the responses of populations to the biotic and abiotic factors in their environment/Summarize how the abiotic factors (such as temperature, water, sunlight, and soil quality) of biomes (freshwater, marine, forest, grasslands, desert, Tundra) affect the ability of organisms to grow, survive and/or create their own food through photosynthesis.

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the North Carolina Aquarium STAR Center, and why is it important?
  2. What happens to sea turtles at the North Carolina Aquarium after they have been rehabilitated?
  3. Why have aquarium scientists constructed a mini ecosystem within the Graveyard of the Atlantic exhibit?
  4. Why do you think the birth of a sand shark in captivity is “quite an accomplishment”?


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