Tyler's Tuesday Tidbit

Yesterday after work I was able to get to the beach for a couple of hours. Not ten minutes after I arrived a lifeguard comes running out of his hut and yells "Alright! That's it. Double red flag -- the beach is closed. No questions!"

My first thought was "a double red flag, but why?" The surf was fine, and everything seemed to be okay. Then I remembered we are in shark season, and maybe that's the reason why they're closing the beach.


After another twenty minutes I see huge dark blobs in the water migrating up the beach. That ended up being groups of sharks swimming from south to north, and considering I'm from North Georgia, this was pretty incredible to see. To make things better, spinner sharks started jumping out of the water. I've never seen anything like it. It was awesome.

Seeing this piqued my curiosity. I started asking "how big do they get, why are they jumping into the air, and what do you call a group of sharks anyway?"

Well first, after doing a little research, I have discovered that spinner sharks are normally around 6' long and weigh around 120 lbs. Second, they sometimes jump into the air because of the way they go after their prey. They eat small, bony fish, and when spinner sharks charge their prey, they do so vertically at very high speeds, and while they go through the school of fish they spin. During this charge they sometimes generate so much momentum that it carries them out of the water into the air.

Hence the name spinner shark.

Finally, I learned that groups of sharks are called "a shiver." So yesterday a shiver of spinner sharks were coming close enough to the shore for them to close the beach.

I would have never guessed "a shiver" to be the correct answer, and I immediately started searching what groups of other mammals, reptiles, birds, etc. are called. It's extremely interesting (fun), and I'll share a few (maybe a lot) with you:

Crocodiles: A bask

Alligators: A congregation

Toads: A knot

Jellyfish: A smack

Herring: An army

Trout: A hover

Barracudas: A battery

Stingrays: A fever

Locusts: A plague

Storks: A mustering

Magpies: A tiding

Ravens: An unkindness

Jays: A party

Owls: A parliament

Eagles: A convocation

Squirrels: A dray

Porcupines: A prickle

Apes: A shrewdness

Giraffes: A tower

Oxen: A team

Bears: A sleuth

Elephants: A parade

Zebras: A zeal

... And my favorite for some reason -- a group of Emus is called a mob. You're welcome.

I hope you really enjoyed reading this edition of Tyler's Tuesday Tidbit.

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