Expert Confirms Great White Shark Likely Behind Dolphin Remains on South Jersey Beach
Sharks attacking dolphins, or at least trying to, probably happens quite a bit and we never even know about it.
Nonetheless, a visitor to one South Jersey beach over the weekend snapped a picture which might indicate sharks are getting extra hungry.
We found this photo on Facebook on Tuesday morning. It was reportedly taken in Wildwood over the weekend.
My friend Karissa Kerns snapped this pic Saturday in Wildwood right after it washed up on the beach early afternoon. It...
Posted by Gene Alesi on Monday, June 15, 2015
Curious about whether or not it was in fact a shark that tore through the dolphin, we tracked down shark expert, Dr. Rich Fernicola, M.D. who had this to say about the image:
The marks on the bottlenose dolphin are definitely from a large shark. The lunate appearance of the cut out remaining flesh confirms this. It was likely a white shark, as a guess, since the edges are so clearly cut away which is consistent with the serrated teeth of the white variety.
Of course, we don't actually know for sure what happened. A number of experts, including those from the Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine, who subsequently referred us to Dr. Fernicola, say the dolphin was likely dead before a shark fed on it. Dolphins are typically too fast for most sharks to get to.
Sharks have made a ton of headlines lately. First with Mary Lee, then the near-record-breaking Mako Shark caught off Cape May last month, and then the recent shark attacks in North Carolina. However, Dr. Fernicola points out that sharks attacking dolphins are certainly not uncommon and shouldn't be of concern to beach-goers. It is, after all, how most sharks survive.