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Thousands of Blacktip Sharks Clog the Coastline of Florida in Palm Beach County


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10,000 blacktip sharks vacationing in Jupiter, Florida!

People aren’t the only ones heading to Florida for warmer weather. Over 10,000 sharks have situated themselves just off the Palm Beach County coastline for the winter, although further north than usual.

The blacktip sharks are only several hundred feet away from the shore, according to Stephen Kajiura, an associate professor at Florida Atlantic University whose research interests include the sensory biology of fish.

“It’s not unusual, but it’s great to see them,” Kajiura told ABC News today of the number of sharks, which average six feet in length.

He explained how the blacktip sharks usually migrate further south in the Miami-Dade and Ft. Lauderdale area, but this year have stayed near Palm Beach north to the Jupiter Inlet.

“One of the ideas may be that as they are getting south, if they are in a suitable habitat, then why not stay,” Kajiura said, explaining why the sharks may have not traveled further south along the Florida coast.

Kajiura hopes to understand why the sharks have stayed in the Palm Beach County area and has tagged 32 sharks so far. He wants to tag 60 sharks in total so he can observe where exactly the sharks go in their migration patterns, seeing “how long they are up there compared to how long they are down here.”

Are they dangerous? What is a group of sharks called?

right here in jupiter, florida!  i had no idea. but this explains all the purple flags at the beach lately (meaning: dangerous marine life).

Now that you know why the beach purple flags are there, will you avoid going into the water?

well, the shark expert said they are skittish and that they don't attack humans in clear water.  so i guess i'd be pretty safe, but the truth is, they are RIGHT in the best snorkeling spot!  i might have to skip snorkeling until the purple flags are gone.  i don't want to be all worried while i swim!

man-of-war stings are one thing, shark bites are quite another!

a group of sharks is called a shiver, btw!  (best name ever, right?!)

Yes and that's a great name for a book too: The Shiver of Sharks and the PurpleFlag.

Probably a good idea to skip the snorkeling till the flag color changes. 

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