Rare crocodile shark found on British beach for first time in history

Updated: 
Rare shark found on Devon beach

A rare Crocodile Shark has been washed up at Hope Cove beach near Plymouth, Devon.

This is the first time in history that the tropical species has been found on UK coastline, leaving experts baffled.

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The Crocodile Shark is native to the waters around Brazil and Australia.

It was spotted by Steven Greenfields, who was walking with his family at Hope Cove beach when he spotted the dead animal.

Rare shark found on Devon beach

"We regularly visit this beach and have never seen anything like this before," he said.

"My whole family was stunned as the animal had really unusual features but was unmistakably a shark.

"I have had experience with sharks whilst swimming and diving overseas, but, despite a fair amount of fishing and swimming in the UK all my life, I have never seen any shark in UK waters other than dogfish.

"Because it was so unusual we consulted our local aquarium to confirm what species it was."

Speaking to the BBC, James Wright, curator at the National Marine Aquarium, said: "This species has never been recorded in the UK before, as it is normally found in deep waters during the day in tropical climates, such as Brazil and Australia, then coming shallower at night to feed.

"With the Crocodile Shark accustomed to much warmer waters, travelling so far and reaching colder waters would have caused a shock to its system and account for the cause of death.

"We would urge the public to share any other unusual sightings with us or The Shark Trust, so we can monitor any trends."

Members of the public have been urged to report any further sightings of the rare animal to the Shark Trust.


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