Shark Washes Up on N. Oregon Coast Beach
(Gearhart, Oregon) – Now here's something you don’t see everyday on the Oregon coast.
All shark photos by Seaside Aquarium.
Staff from Seaside Aquarium received a report Monday morning of a shark that had washed up at Little Beach in Gearhart – just a tad north of Seaside. The shark was long deceased: this was no small monster thrashing about in the tide line and gnashing its teeth. Indeed, it had been dead so long by the time it washed up here that even the seagulls – which normally swarm over such a fishy delicacy – ignored it.
The shark was a Broadnose Sevengill Shark (Notorynchus cepedianus), according to Seaside Aquarium’s Tiffany Boothe.
“These large sharks can reach up to 9.5 feet in length and weigh up to 235 pounds,” Boothe said.
The shark corpse was already missing eyes, but this had nothing to do with predators swooping in for food, as is the norm for such creatures stranding at the tide line.
“It had been rotting quite a while,” said Keith Chandler, aquarium manager. “It was too nasty for even the birds to care.”
Consequently, the corpse was quickly disposed of and not saved for local school biology classes, as the aquarium often does in such cases.
Chandler said it was likely dead for a month or two before showing up on the beach.
Boothe said this type of shark has markedly different teeth on its upper and lower jaws.
“The lower jaw consists of wide, large, comb-shaped teeth used for tearing and cutting into prey,” Boothe said. “The upper jaw consists of sharp and jagged teeth, effective at holding thrashing prey. Having these two distinctive sets of teeth allows the shark to feed on almost anything, from small bait fish to larger marine mammals.”
Boothe said Sevengills are known as an aggressive shark. They have been known to hunt in packs, working as a team, to bring down large prey such as porpoises, dolphins, or seals. When provoked, these sharks have also been known to attack humans.
The Broadnose Sevengill Shark has a very large range geographically, inhabiting temperate seas throughout the world.
Below: the fins and the mouth of the shark.
Keywords: marine science, Oregon coast, biology, nature
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