Marine biologist Amanda Hay is on beautiful Lizard Island where she is conducting research into behaviour of larval fishes. Today, she writes about an encounter at the beach.

Blacktip Reef Shark, Casuarina Beach
Blacktip Reef Shark, Casuarina Beach Image: Jack O'Connor
© Australian Museum

Each evening at about 6pm it is tradition to wander down to Casuarina Beach for a wallow in the water with friends and watch the beautiful sunsets. However not every day brings the glorious sunsets, on this day a squall came through which made it warmer to stay in the water than hop out. The rain had flattened the water considerably when we noticed baitfish congregating in the shallows. The Blacktips were hearding the small baitfish up into the shallows. A few large splashes followed by the amazing spectacle of small Blacktip reef sharks beaching themselves in an attempt to eat the baitfish. It is a little hard to see in the video but as the small sharks were beaching themselves. They twisted their bodies sideways so their heads were pointing towards the water then they thrashed their caudal fins which propelled them along the sand and back into the water.

We were fortunate enough to see several Blacktip Reef Sharks displaying this amazing behaviour which lasted about 5 minutes. I had never seen this behaviour before and feel very privileged to have witnessed this event. A big thanks to Ulrike Siebeck for taking the footage.