Fish & Game News December 31, 2013 Chester
A shadowy figure in a wave near children swimming at a southern California beach has experts disagreeing.
Discovery Channel shark expert Jeff Kurr calls it a great white shark, but shark expert David Shiffman believes it was a dolphin.
The beast was caught on camera lurking near June Emerson’s 12-year-old son and three young friends as they played in the Manhattan Beach surf Friday afternoon.
The difference in the experts’ opinions centers on how they view the tail.
“This is not a #shark photobombing kids. This is a dolphin,” Shiffman tweeted Monday.
Shiffman, a recognized shark expert, noted in a Facebook posting that “the tail is flat,” like a dolphin, and unlike a shark.
But in an interview with CNN, Kurr concluded it was “a juvenile great white shark about 10 to 12 feet long.”
“I would say based on the shape of the dorsal fin, which is more straight, that shows me it’s a great white shark,” Kurr said. “Plus, the fact that that particular beach has become the epicenter for white shark activity, I would say it’s definitely a white shark.”
Emerson told CNN that it wasn’t until on the way home from the beach that her son spotted the creature in one of the photos she took that afternoon.