Mystery as 'crocodile shark' with razor sharp teeth washes up on shore


For the first time in recorded history, a rare species of shark has washed up on the UK coastline, marine experts say.

The Crocodile Shark, which is normally found in tropical waters, was discovered on a beach in Devon and was immediately reported to the National Marine Aquarium.

Experts speculate that the underwater animal may have died from the shock of the colder temperature in the UK's waters.

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The shark belongs to the Mackerel sharks, an order of sharks that includes the infamous Great White, and its existence is listed as "near threatened" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

It typically grows up to one meter long and is commonly found in Brazil and Australia.

Steven Greenfields told BBC that he spotted the dead beast while walking with his family at Hope Cove beach.

"We regularly visit this beach and have never seen anything like this before," Greenfields said. "My whole family was stunned as the animal had really unusual features but was unmistakably a shark."

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Paul Cox, managing director of the Shark Trust -- a charity that works to advance the worldwide conservation of sharks -- told BBC that crocodile sharks were "too small to be valuable but were often landed as bycatch, which was having an impact on their numbers."

"For all sharks, but especially the less common ones, any information that we can get is useful so it's great that this one has been reported and identified," he added.

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