Hammerhead shark takes liking to the Jersey Shore
Another shark has taken a liking to the Jersey Shore.
Elias, a 100-pound, nearly 7-foot male hammerhead shark is being tracked by OCEARCH and has spent the past week swimming just off the Jersey Shore near Belmar. He has since made his way south near Lavallette on Monday morning. Elias' age is not known.
OCEARCH is an organization conducting research on sharks and other predators by placing a tracker on their dorsal fin and then receives a ping every time it surfaces. Elias has traveled nearly 33,000 miles in the past 24 hours and over 439,000 miles since being tagged in July. Elias was caught during the Carl Darenberg Memorial Shark's Eye Tournament in Montauk, Long Island and named by the person who caught him.
Dr. Greg Skomal, OCEARCH's program manager, says the tagging of a smooth Hammerhead "is a milestone" for the organization. National Geographic describes Hammerheads as "consumate predators" that have a better chance at finding prey because of their "oddly shaped heads." Hammerheads are considered harmless to humans but attacks are not unheard of.
Elias, like Mary Lee, the white shark tracked by OCEARCH earlier this summer, Elias has his own Twitter account, @EliasHammerhead. While Mary Lee has 88,000 followers, Elias is not nearly as chatty with only 144 followers.