A tropical species of shark has been found on the UK coastline for the first time in recorded history, marine experts said.
A Crocodile Shark carcass was discovered on a beach at Hope Cove near Plymouth and was reported to the National Marine Aquarium.
Experts think the animal, normally found in tropical waters, may have died from the shock of UK’s colder seas.
It is commonly found in Brazil and Australia growing to about 1m (3.3ft).
Steven Greenfields spotted the shark washed up on the beach while walking with his family.
Mr Greenfields said: “We regularly visit this beach and have never seen anything like this before. My whole family was stunned as the animal had really unusual features but was unmistakably a shark.
Because it was so unusual we consulted our local aquarium to confirm what species it was.”
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.”
Paul Cox, managing director of the Shark Trust, said: “Any information that we can get is useful so it’s great that this one has been reported and identified.”
Crocodile Shark discovered in UK waters for first time – BBC News