Wednesday, March 24, 2010
On our way to the mangrove lagoon on Conception Island (see previous blog), we were dinghying along at 15-20 mph when we noticed something in the water pacing us as we went toward shore. We assumed it was a small dolphin until the creature got to shore, took an abrupt right-hand turn, and started cruising the shallows right in the breakers at the shoreline. It was a shark, about four-feet long. Chris noted that it seemed to know exactly where it wanted to go, with the way it shot in to the beach and immediately started hunting, as if it were on a schedule. We tentatively identified it as a lemon shark, and while looking online later, noted that the young of this species follow regular routes, which certainly seemed to be what this one was doing. They also like to hang out in and around mangrove lagoons, which this one was. It’s always nice to see this stuff for yourself, besides just reading about it. Lemon sharks also give birth to live young in mangrove lagoons—online you can find pictures of birthing, as well as adorable newborn sharks—so we’ll have to keep an eye out for that. The only unsettling part of the experience—we didn’t realize that sharks moved quite that fast.