Even Sharks Are Endangered by the Cold

Thresher sharks reach about 12 feet in length.

THE EXTREME COLD GRIPPING MUCH OF THE NATION at present is likely a factor in the deaths of three thresher sharks, whose bodies have washed ashore on Cape Cod in recent days.

As northern waters cooled, the sharks were probably migrating south along the coast, got trapped in Cape Cod Bay and ended up at the shore near bay-side towns Wellfleet and Orleans, according to a news article about the freezing weather nationwide in the New York Times.

‘IF YOU’VE GOT COLD AIR, THAT’LL FREEZE THEIR GILLS UP VERY QUICKLY,” shark expert Greg Skomal is quoted in the article as saying. “Those gill filaments are very sensitive and it wouldn’t take long for the shark to die,” he said.

“With waters at or below freezing with ice chunks floating off the Cape, sharks caught in the area die before being stranded ashore,” noted a subsequent Boston Globe article  about the third shark’s death.



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