Rare Dolpin Washes Ashore in La Jolla with Possible Great White Shark Bite

A rare dolphin washed ashore at Black's Beach earlier this month with a bite mark that appears to be from a great white shark.

Editor's Note: Some viewers may find the video to the right graphic in nature.

A rare dolphin washed ashore in La Jolla earlier this month with a bite mark that may be from a great white shark. 

David S. Janiger, curatorial assistance with the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History, identified the mammal that washed ashore on Black's Beach as a rare Risso's Dolphin (Grampus griseus), sometimes known as a gray dolphin.

According to NOAA Fisheries, medium sized gray dolphins can reach lengths of approximately 8.5 to 13 feet and weigh 660 to 1,100 pounds, and are typically found in groups between 10 to 30 animals.

A video of this animal was posted on YouTube on Nov. 1 and a local surfer shared the video with Patch this week. Patch passed along the video to an renowned shark expert.

Shark expert Ralph Collier, of the Shark Research Comittee, said this dolphin's bite wound has the general configuration of a white shark bite.

"White sharks feed on marine mammals and frequently take only a single bite out of a prey and then move off leaving the carcass to the winds and tides," said Collier in an email to Patch. "Without a closer examination of the dolphin, it is not possible to determine, positively, the species of shark responsible for the attack nor its size."

Collier added that the wound could also be multiple bites from any number of fishes, depending on the length of time the animal was in the water dead.

What do you think? Is this a shark bite? Have you seen a gray dolphin before?


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