Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Body of 13-foot, 2-inch Great White Shark Found on Morris Island

From Charleston.net:

The body of a great white shark, one of the ocean's rarest and most powerful apex predators, was discovered last week washed ashore on Morris Island.

What killed the 13-foot, 2-inch female shark remains a mystery, though biologists are hoping that examination of tissue samples might shed some light on how the animal wound up dead on the beach, said Bryan Frazier, biologist with the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.

The shark did not appear to have suffered any fishing-related wounds, nor had it suffered any obvious forms of trauma, Frazier said. And though enormous by most standards, the fish actually was still quite young, at an estimated 10 to 13 years old, Frazier said.


Searching the shoreline by boat, DNR fisheries scientists Josh Loefer and Jon Geddings spotted the carcass Nov. 18 but could not land on the beach due to heavy surf. On Thursday, they were able to make landfall and began preliminary examinations.

Loefer said the shark seemed in "pristine condition, a perfectly healthy shark, inside and out, lying dead on the beach."

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