How in the world did this shark swim up into the Olentangy River?! Do we need to worry about our dogs retrieving frisbees thrown from the banks of the river?
No, no worries. This species is exclusively marine and would never enter freshwater streams although they may stray into estuaries from time to time, their bodies could not adapt to the change in salinity unlike the bull shark and several other fish species.
But on 08 August 1976 an Atlantic sharpnose shark was found on the bank of a tributary to the Olentangy River…dead. How did it get there? Perhaps someone caught it off the shores of New Jersey where they are one of the most common shark species Atlantic sharpnose shark – Wikipedia in the nearshore waters of the west central Atlantic Ocean. Even if they could survive in freshwater they seldom attain more than 4 feet in length.
Oddly though, just a little less than 40 years later another Atlantic sharpnose shark was found floating, dead, in the Ohio River near Manchester Ohio and is also vouchered here in the OSUM Fish Collection (mbd.osu.edu/collections/fish-division).
For more information on these specimens OSUM 54284 and OSUM 115521 navigate to mbd.osu.edu/collections/fish-division, click on the Fish Division Database bar and enter OSUM and the number into the search bar. Alternatively you can search for this and other species in our database for vouchers held in our collection.