We posted this story in leftovers but it continues to be debated and is making the rounds in major media. The photo is compelling and concerning but, not that concerning anymore.
A shadowy figure in a wave near children swimming at a southern California beach has experts disagreeing.
Discovery Channel shark expert Jeff Kurr calls it a great white shark, but shark expert David Shiffman believes it was a dolphin.
The beast was caught on camera lurking near June Emerson’s 12-year-old son and three young friends as they played in the Manhattan Beach surf Friday afternoon.
The difference in the experts’ opinions centers on how they view the tail.
Shiffman, a recognized shark expert, noted in a Facebook posting that “the tail is flat,” like a dolphin, and unlike a shark.
But in an interview with CNN, Kurr concluded it was “a juvenile great white shark about 10 to 12 feet long.”
Video from CNN:
I’d say the experts are done debating, have concluded: it’s a dolphin (Southern Fried Science).
On a great white shark, the pectoral fins are relatively far from the head and relatively close to the first dorsal fin (#1) . Like all sharks, great whites have a second dorsal fin (#2). Like all sharks, great whites swim by moving their tail side-to-side (#3).
On a dolphin, pectoral fins are relatively close to the head and relatively far from the dorsal fin (#1). There is no second dorsal fin (#2). Unlike sharks, dolphins swim by moving their tails up and down, resulting in a drastically different tail shape (#3).
Here is a close up of the creature in the picture:
It better matches the dolphin.
It’s a cool photobomb, though.