PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER)-- Many Mainers will be enjoying the coast of the Pine Tree State during the July fourth holiday, but one man said he saw something right out of a the movie Jaws. Augustus Wing sent us this picture of what he clamed is a Great White Shark he saw while out on the ocean on Monday.
Wow! NEWS CENTER was impressed with the photo, but is this really a White Shark? So, we reached out to the University of New England's shark expert, a marine biologist and resident professor, Dr. James Sulikowski, to confirm.
As it turns out, this mighty fish in the picture is not a Great White, but instead a Porbeagle Shark; a shark that thrives in cold water and is commonly seen in the North Atlantic. Dr. Sulikowski said the give away is the white spot on the back of the base of the animal's dorsal fin (the fin on its back). Great White Sharks, like the one in the picture below from Getty Images captured by Carl De Souza, do not have a white spot there- but the two sharks do belong to the same order of Lamniformes, or mackerel sharks.
However, not only did Dr. Sulikowski say that Porbeagles are being seen more and more in the chilly waters off the coast of Maine, but he's actually spending his Independence Day on the water tracking and studying theses same sharks!
While Porbeagle Sharks typically grow to about eight feet long, don't worry, these sharks enjoy eating bony fish- not humans.