WARNING: SOME PHOTOS MAY NOT BE SUITABLE FOR ALL VIEWERS
The sandy beach of Orange Beach was the site of an unusual discovery on Thursday, as a massive Great hammerhead shark, measuring an impressive 14 feet, was found lifeless on the shore.
It was a somber moment, but the significance of the rare opportunity was not lost on the individuals who stumbled upon the magnificent creature.
Several concerned beachgoers worked together to pull the Great hammerhead from the water and contacted the Coastal Resources team immediately.
Within no time, the experts were on the scene to assess the situation. The sight of the creature was both awe-inspiring and heartbreaking, and the team knew that they had to act fast to preserve it for scientific study.
Despite the sad circumstances surrounding the Great hammerhead’s death, the researchers were elated at the chance to examine the creature up close. After all, these majestic creatures are known to be elusive and difficult to study in the wild.
The Coastal Resources team quickly got to work, reaching out to various agencies to determine who could best assist in gathering data on this unique specimen.
Eventually, Dr. Drynom, an expert in coastal sharks from Mississippi State University Marine Fisheries Ecology, sent a team to perform a necropsy on the Great hammerhead.
The team was able to gather valuable information about the creature’s biology and behavior, including the discovery that it was carrying an astonishing 40 pups in its womb!
While the exact cause of death remains unknown, the data collected from this rare opportunity will be invaluable to the study of Great hammerheads and their ability to produce an abundance of offspring.
The Coastal Resources team was grateful to have played a small role in this extraordinary case, ensuring that the Great hammerhead was protected from the elements and iced down for further study within just a few short hours of the initial call.
In the end, while the loss of such a magnificent creature is always a tragedy, the opportunity to gather valuable scientific data from this rare Great hammerhead shark will help researchers better understand and protect these fascinating creatures for generations to come.