Paradise Island’s Estuary Lagoon serves as transitional home for many immature Atlantis marine specimens. Many Southern stingrays (Dasyatis Americana) and Bonnethead sharks (Sphyrna tiburo) spend their early years in safety in this secure, shallow-water nursery environment. For guests of the resort – especially younger ones – it’s a unique educational opportunity and a chance to observe these species as newborns.
Southern Stingrays (Dasyatis Americana), Red Mangroves (Rhizophora mangle), Bonnethead Sharks (Sphyrna tiburo) and Starfish (Asteroidea).
When freshwater flows from streams and rivers into seawater, an estuary is formed. Many different habitats are found in and around estuaries, including marshes, sandy beaches, rocky shores, mangrove forests, tidal pools, and sea grasses. These brackish waterways provide nesting grounds for birds, nursery areas for fish and sharks, as well as a wide variety of invertebrates, such as shrimp, lobsters, and crabs.
Atlantis has one of the most successful shark breeding programs in the world, having had more than five species of sharks reproduce here. Sharks have no parental care, so pups are moved from the large marine habitat to this nursery lagoon just after birth. This enables our marine specialists to closely monitor the pups’ health and growth.
Stingray pups develop inside the mother, first feeding off a yolk sac for nutrition. When the yolk is consumed, the young feed on uterine milk. The mother gives birth to an average of four pups that actively swim when born. The pups range from eight to 14 inches in length and weigh 0.5 to 2.5 pounds at birth.
Day passes are available for purchase at the Discover Atlantis desk in Coral Towers and space is limited.
Individuals under 18 years old must be accompanied by an Adult 18 years or older.