Rare crocodile shark spotted in United Kingdom waters for first time

Rare crocodile shark spotted in United Kingdom waters for first time

Steven Greenfields was out for a walk with his family on Hope Beach in Devon when he stumbled across the find, the first record of the species in the United Kingdom, according to Devon Live. "My whole family was stunned as the animal had really unusual features, but was unmistakably a shark".

The staff at the National Marine Aquarium in Plymouth, Devon, believe the creature which washed up dead on a nearby beach was a crocodile shark - a species commonly found in places such as Brazil and Australia.

A rare type of shark boasting disproportionately large jaws and teeth has been discovered in United Kingdom waters for the first time.

Crocodile sharks, first described in 1936, belong to the mackerel shark family.

Marine experts say although crocodile sharks have ferocious looking jaws they are relatively harmless to humans, growing little more than three-feet in length and generally eating squid and small fish.

Experts have identified it as a crocodile shark, Pseudocarcharias kamoharai.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of species threatened with extinction, the crocodile shark "may be threatened in the near future" as it is vulnerable to being caught as bycatch by long-line fishing boats.

You shouldn't let one shark stop you from paddling on British beaches this summer as this find is incredibly rare.

"I have experience with sharks while swimming and diving overseas, but despite a fair amount of fishing and swimming in the United Kingdom..."

Ross Spearing and his son, Nathan, were also intrigued by the animal and sent in photos after spotting it on a walk.

Aquarium curator James Wright believes the shark died from shock after entering cold British waters. "However, we identified numerous traits which suggested it was not any shark usually recorded in United Kingdom waters".

He added the shark may have died because the water off the United Kingdom was too cold.