Here’s the Truth About the Half-Eaten Dolphin that Washed Ashore

posted: 06/19/15
by: Danny Clemens
Bottlenose dolphin raises head and snout above surface of water. Tursiops truncatus.
Jeff Foott/DCL

A photo going viral this week depicts a half-eaten dolphin that washed up on a New Jersey beach. Intense shark fervor sprang up on social media, as many assumed that a grown dolphin came to an untimely end when a vicious shark decided to chomp off most of its body.

Editor's note: the photo isn't exceptionally graphic, but may be disturbing to some readers. Click here to view the photo on the Press of Atlantic City's website.

That assumption isn't entirely true, according to the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, a nonprofit organization based in Brigantine, New Jersey. The organization took to Facebook recently to set the record straight:

Shark mania has struck NJ! Just an fyi- the photo that has been going around social media is of a newborn bottlenose...

Posted by Marine Mammal Stranding Center on Tuesday, June 16, 2015

"That's what sharks do, they clean the ocean up. We'd have a lot more dead critters washing up on the beach if it weren't for sharks," the organization's Director, Robert Schoelkopf, told the Press of Atlantic City.

Surprise: there are sharks in the ocean! And they eat dead things!

Learn more about dolphins:

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Race to the Dolphin Dinner Table

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