As the Arctic blast continues to roil the Eastern Seaboard with gusty winds and frigid temperatures, at least four thresher sharks have been found frozen off the coast of Cape Cod.
Is Old Man Winter to blame? Probably not, as the sharks likely died not from hypothermia but from stranding themselves in shallow waters as they attempted to migrate south, according to Greg Skomal, the senior fisheries scientist who leads the shark research program for the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game.
Unlike blue sharks, mako sharks, and basking sharks, thresher sharks tend to linger in the Gulf of Maine until late December, Skomal said. Characterized by their long, scythe-like tails, the animals possess endothermic properties, meaning they can retain their metabolic heat to a certain extent.