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See the largest shark that ever lived

Posted February 18, 2010 10:04 p.m. EST
Updated February 19, 2010 10:01 a.m. EST

You probably wouldn't want to get close to the live version of the prehistoric shark that's part of a new exhibit at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. But kids will love the fake one.

The new exhibit "Megalodon: Largest Shark that Ever Lived" opened last weekend and runs through May 9 (that's Mother's Day weekend). The exhibit traces the history of the shark and relates it to the health of today's oceans and creatures.

There are plenty of hands-on activities for kids, including taking a close look at shark teeth and calculating how much a Megalodon might eat. Kids also will get a kick out of walking through a replica of the giant shark, which was about the size of a school bus.

In this video, Albert Ervin, the museum's special exhibits coordinator, was kind enough to show me around the other day. He also was kind enough to remind us all that sharks are not close to this size today. Most are no more than three feet, he told me. And special thanks to Naomi for sharing her thoughts on the exhibit.

Tickets are $7 for adults; $5 for seniors and students; $4 children (5–11); and free to museum members. Kids can earn a free ticket by participating in the museum's shark illustration contest before March 15.

Exhibit tickets may be purchased in person at the museum box office between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. And you can always purchase them online at the museum's website.

I'd say grade-schoolers and up might get the most out of the exhibit, but there is plenty to capture the interest of the younger kids, especially in the Explore It Lab, where there are books, games and little sea creatures for them to play with.

And here's the video: