Drone captures a serious shiver of sharks off Florida coast
According to a recent report in UK newspaper The Telegraph, your odds of dying from taking a selfie are greater than those of dying from a shark attack. Still, an increase in attacks off the coast of North Carolina this year had residents of the US East Coast more leery about swimming in ocean waters than they had been in years.
Those people should not watch the video below, which was posted by aerial photographer Cory Peterson on Vimeo Sunday.
According to a report in the UK paper The Guardian, Peterson was fishing near Destin, on Florida’s Emerald Coast, when he saw the group of sharks (which, yes, is known as a “shiver” — also a gam, herd, frenzy or school). He launched his camera-carrying drone to capture the group, and the result is the video below.
Although it’s tempting to draw sci-fi-like conclusions for the appearance of a group of prowling sharks in the waters off Florida (readying for another sharknado, eh?), there’s likely a very good reason for their appearance.
According to Robert Hueter, the associate vice president for research at the Mote Marine Laboratory in Sarasota, Florida, the sharks in the video — likely medium-size black-tip sharks which measure about 5 to 7 feet long (about 1.5 to 2.1 meters) — do aggregate this way off the Florida coast during certain seasons.
“They’re especially seen off the Florida East Coast where the water can be quite clear, often in the hundreds,” he said. “Why they do this at times isn’t well understood but it probably involves feeding and migration. Autumn is coming and water temperatures are coming down, and that may cue the sharks to prepare for moving south for winter.”
Hueter also said sharks in a shiver aren’t necessarily more dangerous than lone sharks, unless you happen to encounter them during mealtime.
“Sharks in these groups are not more aggressive, unless they are feeding on a school of prey fish that bring them into a beach environment where people are swimming,” he told CNET’s Crave blog. “Then bites might occur when people basically get in the way. It’s possible this is what happened last June in the Carolinas when a series of bites and attacks occurred.”
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