Every year massive hammerhead sharks head to the coastal waters of Florida to hunt and eat blacktip sharks (Carcharhinus limbatus).
The average size of these blacktips is 6ft and around 80lbs, but they can reach up to 8ft and 220lbs. Basically, they’re pretty big. But the great hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna mokarran) that hunt them are much, much bigger, on average 14ft in length and weighing more than a 1000lbs (they can reach up to 20ft). The difference is stark 👇
As you can imagine, the show these hammerheads put on when hunting, is incredible to watch:
The footage was captured by Joshua Jorgensen who has been obsessed with the migration of the blacktip sharks as far back as 2003 due to the awesome spectacle that it is.
The migration sees thousands of the fish head south in search of warmer waters and food, however, in recent years their numbers have been in sharp decline off the Florida coast due to the rapidly warming ocean. This results in sharks choosing not to move south, but instead remaining further north in waters that match their ideal temperature of around 21C to 25C.
“We just aren’t seeing the numbers; there are remarkably few sharks. It really indicates that their migration is tied closely to temperature and if this trend continues we may not see sharks here any more,” Dr Stephen Kajiura, a shark researcher at Florida Atlantic University, tells The Guardian.
If the trend continues, researchers have warned the migration, one of the largest in United States coastal waters, could come to a grinding halt.